Beef, Ale & Prune Stew

Without a doubt, one week off work has made me seriously lazy and yesterday was no exception. Despite plans the night before to go for an early morning run, tidy my flat and finish reading my book, I didn’t get out of bed until NOON, which only gave me a mere four hours of sunlight before it was time to start the process that inevitably leads to climbing into bed for another much needed sleep…

Rather than waste my day completely, I decided to make one of my favourite wintery stews for dinner. Using delicious fatty stewing beef from the newly opened Ginger Pig on Askew Road (surprisingly cheap considering how good it looked), vegetables from Tesco and Sainsbury’s (why can’t these express supermarkets stock a normal range of veg? I was only after carrots, mushrooms and onions), and ale from Askew Wine (another recent addition to the neighbourhood), I decided to start cooking early to give my stew enough time to…stew.

It doesn’t take a culinary genius to cook this recipe, but the result is oh so satisfying and warms your body like a hot bath before bed (I think the couple of glasses of Merlot may have helped). Best made on a cold, dark, wintery evening when nothing could tempt you to go out, and best served with Savoy cabbage (Save our Cabbage! says the Great British Food Revival as sales are dropping) and mashed potato with a little whole grain mustard and horseradish to make it interesting.


Serves 4-6 depending on the size of your belly (and tastes even better warmed up the next day).


  • 600g stewing beef (cut into bite sized chunks – your butcher should be able to do this for you)
  • 3 x Portabello mushrooms (cut into slices)
  • 1 x red onion (diced)
  • 2 x garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 3 x carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 250g pitted prunes (cut in half)
  • 500mls beef stock
  • 60g flour
  • 500mls English Ale
  • 1 x cup of water
  • 2 x tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season


  • Season half the flour in a large bowl with salt and pepper
  • Add the beef to the flour and ensure each piece is well coated
  • Heat the oil in a large casserole dish
  • Add the beef and fry until each piece is browned on the outside
  • Remove the beef from the dish and fry the onions and garlic on a low heat
  • Add the mushrooms to the dish and cook with the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes
  • Put the beef back in the dish and add the carrots, ale, stock, water and remaining flour
  • Give everything a stir and bring the stew to the boil, before reducing it to a simmer and covering the dish
  • Cook on a gentle simmer for 1½ hours, stirring every couple of hours (make sure you scrape any of the mixture off the bottom as that is where a lot of the flavour is!)
  • After 1½ hours, add the prunes and stir
  • Cook for another half an hour before serving with mash, cabbage and a glass of red wine

5 responses to “Beef, Ale & Prune Stew

  1. Marianne Velmans

    I want some & I want it now! Yum

  2. I love the advent of stew season! This sounds nice — I bet the prunes and the ale are wonderful with the beef.

  3. Oh yummy, it looks so deep and rich! Totally my kind of food!

  4. Things I like:

    1. The dish – looks really nice
    2. The cooking pot – same as mine
    3. The photo at the end of the post with the big lovely glass of wine!

  5. Sounds wonderful – must try it …. after I have been for my run!

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