Beef, mushroom & ale stew

This braise can be cooled, placed in a ramekin, topped with puff pastry brushed with egg wash, and cooked at 200°C until golden brown. You now have a cracking pot pie. Guinness stout added to the braise is also really tasty.


  • 185g portobello mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 brown onions, cut into 5mm slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Small handful sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 550g chuck steak, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 medium carrot, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups dark ale
  • 2 1/2 cups veal or beef stock
  • Crusty bread, to serve


Preheat oven to 180ºC. Slice the mushrooms 1cm thick and cut in half again.

In a heavy-based casserole pot, heat 2 tbsp oil over a low heat. Add the onion, garlic, sage and 1 tsp salt and sauté for 10 minutes until softened. Increase heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until golden. Remove from pot and set aside.

Combine the flour, 1 tsp salt and a grind of black pepper in a bowl. Coat the beef in this a few pieces at a time, making sure all sides are coated and any excess flour is removed.

Heat the remaining oil on high in the casserole pot, add the meat a few pieces at a time, and brown on all sides. Add the carrot, then put the mushroom and onion mixture back into the pot and heat through. Add the ale to deglaze the pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender. Serve with crusty bread.

NOTES: Want something to drink?
This stew is brimming with rich, wintery flavours and needs a big red to stand beside it. Hentley Farm's 2013 "The Marl" is a second great vintage of this Barossa Valley shiraz - a powerful, brooding wine showing rich, dark berries and Asian five-spice. They're a great match

First published in the Good Weekend.