Highland beef with pickled walnuts & puff pastry tops

Highland beef with pickled walnuts & puff pastry tops

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(20 ratings)

Ready in about 3½ hours, including cooking


Serves 8
A rich beef stew that gets better the longer it's kept. The pickled walnuts add a tangy touch. Make up to three days ahead

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal900
  • fat54g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre2g
  • protein51g
  • salt1.51g
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    For the pastry puffs

    • 375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
    • 1 egg, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

    For the stew

    • 1½ kg stewing beef, cut into 5cm/2in pieces, excess fat removed
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 2 x 440ml cans of dark stout such as Scottish Oatmeal Stout or Guinness
    • 85g butter



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 3 tbsp olive oil
      olive oil

      Olive oil

      ol-iv oyl

      Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

    • 100g smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
    • 3 large Spanish onions, finely chopped



      Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

    • 2 tbsp plain flour
    • 350ml port
    • 390g jar pickled walnuts, halved (reserve 2 tbsp pickling vinegar)



      Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…

    • 3 tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley, plus extra to serve


    1. Up to three days before, make the pastry puffs. Preheat the oven to fan 180C/conventional 200C/ gas 6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry a little thinner and stamp out sixteen 6cm rounds. Put the rounds on a baking sheet and brush with the egg. Sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

    2. Make the stew. Put the beef, garlic and bay leaf in a large non-metallic bowl and pour in the stout. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour, preferably overnight.

    3. Preheat the oven to fan 130C/ conventional 150C/gas 2. Drain the meat and pat dry on kitchen paper. Set aside the marinade liquid.

    4. Heat both half the butter and oil in a large lidded ovenproof casserole. Over a high heat, brown the beef in batches until each piece is sealed and dark brown. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon as you go. Set aside.

    5. Wipe the dish with kitchen paper, melt the remaining butter and oil and fry the bacon and onions for 10-15 minutes until the onions are golden brown, very soft and well reduced.

    6. Stir in the flour until blended, add the port and reserved marinade and return the beef to the dish. Bring to the boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook in the oven for 2½ -3 hours or until the meat is very tender (no need to season). Cool, put in a large sealed container and store in the fridge, or freeze for up to 1 month.

    7. To serve, return to the casserole and bring slowly to the boil (if frozen, defrost and continue as above). Add pickled walnuts and reserved pickling vinegar and simmer for 30 minutes until hot. Stir through the parsley. Re-heat the pastries at fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6 for 3-4 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls, top with a couple of pastry puffs and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    30th Nov, 2007
    Hi, l live in ltaly and l would like to make this dish but where can l find pickled walnuts? Thanks Josie
    24th Nov, 2007
    Made a great dish for a winter dinner party with mustard mash and fine green beans. My dinner guests felt loved with this delicious casserole. Hugged but on the inside!
    15th Nov, 2007
    Made this dish for a lunch party and it gots lots of positive feedback about it. Make sure you are organised and prepare your marinade and pastry puffs a couple days beforehand. A very easy dish to make and only need to put it in the oven on the day of serving so frees you up to enjoy yourself!


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