Blairs Inn beef and stout casserole

The important thing to remember when cooking this casserole to cook it slowly for the full period of three hours at the low heat of 140C. Otherwise there might be a slight bitter tinge to the sauce if the stout is cooked too quickly. Cooked correctly the stout tenderises the meat and gives the dish a deliciously rich and malty flavour. And what’s more it tastes even better the day after, so it’s ideal if entertaining friends as it can be prepared well ahead of time.

Ingredients

• 1kg of good quality locally sourced beef
(rump steak is best for this recipe, but shoulder is fine too)
• 1 tablespoon flour
• 25g Kerrygold butter
• Olive oil
• 250 gr red onion, chopped into thin wedges
• 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick slices
• 1 turnip, peeled and cut into cubes
• 1 celery stalk, diced
• 500ml bottle Black Rock Irish Stout
• 250ml beef stock (a stock cube is fine)
• 1 tablespoon thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 cloves crushed garlic
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 tablesoon sugar
• A good pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C.
  2. Cube the beef pieces and toss in flour.
  3. Melt the butter and a little olive oil in a large casserole on the stove.
  4. Brown the meat in small batches, over a high flame, and remove the browned meat to a dish. You want a good deep brown, almost charred finish to give the flavour depth… but be careful not to burn the meat. (You’re not trying to cook the meat fully, you are merely sealing the edges of the meat so it retains its juices and flavour while it is stewing).
  5. When the meat is removed from the pan, add some more olive oil, and add the onions, celery, turnip & carrots to the pan, stirring them until the onions are soft. Return the meat to the dish with its juices, and stir
    in the flour.
  6. Continue stirring for a minute, then add the Black Rock Stout, the stock, thyme, tomato paste, garlic and sugar. Season, bring to a simmer, and then put the lid on and put the dish in the oven.
  7. Three hours later… et voilà! A deliciously rich and warming casserole, the perfect antidote for the, er, long summer evenings.

Why not visit Blairs Inn and say hello.