Spiced beef with stout & prunes

A bowl of food on a plate Casserole Recipes

Preparation and cooking time

  • Prep:15 mins
  • Cook:1 hr and 50 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 6

Make this spiced beef casserole a couple of days in advance. Ideal for a get together, such as New Year’s Eve, serve with mash and buttered savoy cabbage

Nutrient Unit
kcal 504
fat 25g
saturates 8g
carbs 16g
sugars 15g
fibre 4g
protein 49g
salt 0.3g


  • 1.4kg braising beef, cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 3½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • grating of nutmeg
  • 200ml stout
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 275g carrots (about 2 large), cut into chunks
  • 3 tsp muscovado sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 125g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  • 125g small baby onions
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
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  • STEP 1

Pat the beef dry using kitchen paper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large flameproof casserole, and fry the beef in batches over a high heat until browned on all sides. Transfer the browned batches to a bowl using a slotted spoon as you continue frying the remainder.

  • STEP 2

When all the meat is browned, heat another 1 tbsp oil in the casserole, and fry the onion for 12 mins until soft and pale golden. Stir in the allspice, cloves, cinnamon stick, juniper berries, and a generous grating of nutmeg.

  • STEP 3
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Pour in the stout and cook over a medium heat until it has reduced by half. Stir in the stock, carrots, sugar, bay leaves and some seasoning. Return the browned meat to the pan, and bring the mixture the boil. When it’s boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 1 hr 30 mins, stirring and checking the seasoning every so often. In the last 20 mins of cooking time, stir in the prunes (if you do this any sooner, the prunes will fall apart).

  • STEP 4
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Meanwhile, peel the baby onions and fry these in a small frying pan in the remaining oil over a medium-low heat until golden on the outside and soft in the middle (you may need to add a little stock or water to the pan to help them soften, if they’re slightly bigger). The baby onions should be tender, but not falling apart. Stir these into the braise, check the seasoning again, and scatter over the chopped parsley before serving.

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