Beef & Ale Casserole
Preparation time
25 muinutes
170 minutes


(for 4 servings)

  • 2 tbsp plain flour 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 950g braising beef, cubed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 200g Chantenay carrots, trimmed
  • 2 parsnips, cut into chunks
  • 250g swede, cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500ml ale
  • 200ml good beef stock
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 50g butter
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 100g Boursin Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped mixed herbs, e.g. parsley, sage and thyme
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 160C/ 140C Fan/ Gas 3. Mix together the plain flour and seasoning in a large plastic bag or bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat evenly. Heat half the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish and sauté the beef, in batches, over a high heat for about five minutes, stirring occasionally until golden. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining oil and sauté the shallots for five minutes, until golden. Add the garlic and carrots and sauté for two minutes. Stir in the parsnips, swede, tomato puree, ale, stock, redcurrant jelly, bay leaf, thyme and reserved beef and juices. Season and bring to the boil. Cover and bake for two hours.

Using your fingertips, rub together the butter and self-raising flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in small pieces of Boursin Black Pepper and rub in together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the mixed herbs, seasoning and enough cold water to form a soft dough. Divide into eight pieces and roll into balls.

Remove the casserole from the oven, uncover and arrange the dumplings on top. Cover and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme and serve.