Beef, carrots & ale recipe

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  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) beef shin steaks, cut roughly in half, keeping the central bone in one half, or stewing beef, plus 1–2 marrow bones, sawn in half by the butcher
For the Marinade
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • ½ star anise
  • 3 cloves
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala blend
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 litre (1¾ pints) stout – use a dark, rich local brand
  • 3 small thyme sprigs
  • 1 garlic bulb, cloves peeled
For the Stew
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 7 oz (200 g) button onions or shallots, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into chunky batons
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 lb 9 oz (700 g) small turnips, peeled and halved, or 1 large turnip, peeled and diced into 3 cm (1¼in) cubes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 handful curly parsley leaves, chopped
How to Make It
  1. Finely grind the peppercorns, star anise, cloves and fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle, then add the Garam Masala and chilli flakes. Take out 2 teaspoons of the spice mix to use later.
  2. Put all the marinade ingredients into a non-metallic bowl and add the beef. Cover with greaseproof paper, weigh it down with a small plate to make sure everything is submerged, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and put it into the fridge. Leave for 40–48 hours to marinate. After 24 hours, gently move the meat around, then re-cover.
  3. To make the stew, mix the flour, the reserved 2 teaspoons spice mix and the salt in a small bowl. Remove the meat from the marinade, dry well with kitchen paper, then lightly coat with the flour mixture and put it on a plate. Set aside.
  4. Put a heavy-based flameproof casserole over a medium heat. Add the oil. Shake any excess flour from the meat. When the oil is hot, fry the beef in a couple of batches so that each piece is nicely caramelised on each side. Preheat the oven to 160°C (gas mark 3).
  5. . Remove the meat to a clean plate. Turn down the heat slightly, then add the onions and celery, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add the carrots, turnips, meat and marrow bones, if using, and all the marinade, bring to a gentle simmer (no more than a bubble or two), then cover with foil, pop on the lid and put into the oven to cook for 3–3½ hours until tender.
  6. Remove the casserole from the oven. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the meat, celery, turnips, carrots and onions on to a platter and skim any surplus fat from the cooking liquor.
  7. Put the casserole over a high heat and reduce the liquid to about half, until the gravy is rich and unctuous. Add the wine vinegar, stir, then put all the meat and vegetables back into the sauce. (If making this the day before you serve it, leave to cool, cover and keep in the fridge overnight. Reheat the stew when the mash is nearly ready.) Sprinkle on the parsley, give it a quick stir and leave it to rest while you make the Coconut Mashed Roots.

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