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Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in large lidded casserole dish, brown the meat really well in batches, then set aside. Add the onion and carrots to the dish, give them a good browning, then scatter over the flour and stir. Tip the meat and any juices back into the dish and give it all a good stir. Pour over the stout and crumble in the stock cube. Season the stew with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar. Tuck in the herbs and bring everything to a simmer.
Cover with a lid and place in the oven for about 2½ hrs until the meat is really tender. The stew can now be chilled and frozen for up to 3 months – defrost completely before reheating until piping hot. Leave the stew to settle a little, then serve with creamy parsnip mash for a true celebration of winter vegetables.