• 750g rib steak, well-trimmed and cut into cubes
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs. soft dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • 200mls stout
  • 300mls water
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • A little salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 850g large potatoes, peeled
  • 50g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated2 cups half and half


  • Set oven to Gas Mark 3, 160°C (325°F).
  • Heat a tablespoon oil in a frying pan. Then brown the beef, a few pieces at a time. Remove the meat as it brown to an ovenproof casserole dish.
  • Heat the rest of the oil in the pan then add the onions. Cook for a couple of minutes to soften then add in the garlic. Cook for another minute, be careful not to let the garlic burn. Then stir in the sugar and flour.
  • Add in the stout and water or stock, stirring all the time. Then add a few sprigs of thyme, the red wine vinegar, mustard, ground cloves, a little salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to the boil then pour the sauce over the meat in the casserole dish. Cover with a lid or tin foil and cook in the oven for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Drain well. Slice the potatoes into 1cm rounds and overlap them on top of the beef in the casserole dish.
  • Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle over the cheese.
  • Increase the oven temperature to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400° F). Place the casserole dish back in the oven and continue to cook until the potatoes are golden and cooked through – approximately 15 minutes.
  • Serve with a selection of root vegetables.


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