Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Easiest Steak and Ale Casserole EVER

You've got to love casseroles and stews at this time of year. Long, slow cooking that makes your home smell - well, homely - and you get meltingly tender meat and rich, dark gravy next to a big dollop of fluffy white mashed potato.



Here is our favourite steak and ale casserole - which I cook in a slow cooker, but you could also cook in a casserole dish in the oven. I love the slow cooker because I can leave it cooking all day and forget about it until 20 minutes before we are ready to eat - when I start the potatoes and veg. Ordering a takeaway could honestly take more effort than this.

One note about the ale - the type and brand of ale used changes the dish considerably. Some varieties will be bitter, while others will be sweeter. I like using "Old Tom" strong ale, but it does fit into the bitter-tasting category. Experiment and get to know what you like.

Here's the recipe:

Easy Steak and Ale Casserole
(Serves 4, with mash and veggies alongside)

Ingredients

•350g stewing steak
•3 tablespoons of plain flour
•1 medium onion, sliced
•350ml of your favourite ale
•2 bay leaves
• a dash of Worcestershire sauce
•Salt and pepper

Method
  1. Preheat your slow cooker to HIGH.
  2. Dust the stewing steak with the flour and fry, in a little oil, to brown the meat.
  3. When browned, remove from pan and tip into the slow cooker crock pot. Replace slow cooker lid.
  4. Pour a little more oil if needed into the frying pan and cook the onions until soft and starting to brown. Then pour in the ale - it will fizz and froth. Make sure that you scrape up all the meat residues from the bottom of  the pan using a wooden or silicone spoon and incorporate into the gravy.
  5. Splash in the Worcestershire sauce, throw in the bay leaves and tip the lot into the slow cooker.
  6. Replace lid, leave for around 4-5 hours, until the onions are soft, the gravy is rich and dark and the beef is meltingly tender. If the gravy seems a bit thin, you can always put some in a small saucepan at the end of the cooking and reduce to make it thicker. 
  7. Season with salt and pepper before serving. 
Slow-cooked winter comfort food!

Beef Steak Casserole on FoodistaBeef Steak Casserole