beef in alerating:
someone very kindly gave Pete 4 pints of excellent real ale. He's not much of a beer drinker these days, and we didn't want it to go to waste, so this is what I concocted.
3 lbs of good stewing steak
some carrrots, cut into chunky batons
about a dozen shallots, peeled
about half a swede, peeled and diced into smallish cubes
a dollop of maple syrup
a generous knob of butter
a tablespoon or so of plain flour
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp Marmite
1.5 ish pints of good beer
sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
get husband to chop the meat into appropriately sized chunks, and brown (meat, not husband) in batches. Use a little vegetable oil if the meat is very lean. Set this aside into a large casserole dish.
add a dollop of maple syrup to the meat browning pan, and chunk in the swede, carrot and shallots. Turn them around over a highish heat until they're just starting to caramelise. Add the veggies to the casserole.
now throw a lump of butter into the browning pan and melt it, then make a roux with the flour and cook it through for a couple of minutes. Add mustard and Marmite. Add the beer in stages - it's like making a white sauce. When you have the consistency you fancy, stop!
add this to the casserole, season with sea salt and black pepper (I got the husband to pestle and mortar it), and chuck in a bouquet garni if you have one handy.
cook long and slow if you can - I did ours overnight on the oven's lowest setting. I took it out of the oven about half an hour ago, and I want some for breakfast :)