1 tablespoon sunflower oil
750 g (12 lb) braising beef, trimmed of fat and cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
600 ml (1 pint) beef stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 teaspoons English mustard
3 rosemary sprigs
125 g (4 oz) carrots, diced
125 g (4 oz) swede, diced
125 g (4 oz) parsnip, diced
700 g (1 lb 6 oz) potatoes. thinly sliced
25 g (1 oz) butter
salt and pepper


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the beef a few pieces at a time until all the meat is in the pan and fry over a high heat, stirring, until browned.
2.Scoop the beef out of pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to the slow cooker pot.
3.Add the onion to the pan and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened and just beginning to turn golden.
4. Stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the stock. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, mustard and leaves from 2 sprigs of the rosemary.
5.Season and bring to the boil, stirring. Add the diced vegetables to the slow cooker pot.
6. Pour the onions and sauce over them, then cover with the potato slices, arranging them so that they overlap and pressing them down into the stock.
7.Sprinkle with the leaves torn from the remaining rosemary sprig and a little salt and pepper.
8.Cover and cook on high for 7-8 hours until the potatoes are tender. Lift the pot out of the housing using oven gloves, dot the potatoes with the butter and brown under a preheated hot grill, if liked.
9.FOR CHICKEN & BLACK PUDDING HOTPOT, replace the beef with 625 g (14 lb) chicken thighs that have been skinned, boned and diced.
10. Continue as above, adding 100 g (3½ oz) diced, skinned black pudding along with the root vegetables. Cover with the potatoes and cook as above.

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