1 tablespoon sunflower oil
600 g (1 lb 3½ oz) beef cheeks, cut into 3.5 cm
2 red onions, cut into wedges
250 ml (8 fl oz) brown ale
150 ml (4 pint) beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
300 g (10 oz) small Chantenay carrots. halved lengthways
2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
salt and pepper


1.Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat until hot. Add the beef a few pieces at a time until all the meat is in the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until browned.
2.Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to the slow cooker pot, arranging it in a single layer. Add the onions to the frying pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.
3.Add the brown ale, stock and tomato purée. Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little cold water and stir into the pan with the herbs.
4.Season to taste and bring to the boil, stirring. Place the carrots and celery on top of the beef, then pour over the hot beer mixture.
5.Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours until the beef is into shallow bowls and serve with sugar snap peas and frozen peas, if liked.
6.FOR BEERY CHESTNUTS & MUSHROOMS, follow the recipe above, using 500 g (1 lb) whole mixed small mushrooms instead of the beef, and adding 175 g (6 oz) canned chestnuts at the same time as the herbs.

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