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Beef And Guinness Casserole

  • Serves 6
Beef And Guinness Casserole

Beef simmered gently in Guinness and flavoured with orange and prunes makes a truly delicious winter casserole. Serve plenty of roughly mashed potatoes on the side.


  • 1 kg New Zealand Quality Mark lean beef blade steak, cut into 2-3cm pieces
  • about ¼ cup oil to pan-fry
  • 4 onions, peeled and diced (or 16 baby onions)
  • 1 tblsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups Guinness
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 4 rashers bacon, chopped
  • about 4 sprigs thyme or ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 12-18 prunes
  • 1 orange (pared rind)


  1. Cut the blade steak into 5cm pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat in batches over a moderately high heat until well browned. Transfer to a casserole.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes, before adding the garlic and cooking a further minute.
  4. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well to coat in the onions and oil. Gradually pour in the Guinness and beef stock, and bring to the boil to make a smooth sauce.
  5. Pour over the meat in the casserole and then mix in the bacon, thyme, prunes and orange rind.
  6. Bake at 160 °C for 1½ to 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
  7. Serve over mashed potatoes, garnished with a few walnuts, sprigs of thyme and a little orange zest.

Slow cooker method

  1. Turn the slow cooker on to low while gathering and preparing the ingredients.
  2. If wishing to brown the ingredients, brown the beef, onions and bacon well in a dash of oil in a hot frying pan. This will be best done in several batches to avoid the ingredients stewing rather than browning.
  3. Into the prewarmed slow cooker put the beef, onions, bacon, prunes, garlic, orange rind and thyme.
  4. Mix together the flour, Guinness and stock to form a smooth mix and pour over the beef. Stir to mix well and cover with the lid.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Seasonw ell with salt and pepper. Serve with seasonal vegetables.

Cooks Tips

- Pare the orange rind thinly to avoid any white bitter pith being added. If there is some attached to the pieces of peel, turn them over and with a small sharp knife, carefully cut the pith off. - Guinness is a distinctive Irish beef, prepared from roasted barley, hops, yeast and water. While it's referred to as black, it is actually a dark rusty red colur. If you do not have Guinness, use another dark-style beer. - When stewing lean meat, even though it is surrounded by liquid, it can become dry in texture if cooked at too high a temperature for too long. While prolonged simmering or cooking close to the boil is necessary to soften connective tissue and make tough meat tender, it also dries lean meat out. (As the meat is heated the muscles coagulate, proteins shrink and water is squeezed out. Cooking meat in liquid does not stop this water loss.) After initial browning, a low temperature or sub-simmer gives best results. Do not overcook lean meat stews. - The meat for a stew is usually browned before the liquid is added. This develops colour and flavour. Some meat stews are made without initial browning, relying on added ingredients for depth of colour. In some stews only the vegetables get an initial browning, and then meat and liquids are added. For example, a meat curry is often made this way.

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