• STEP 1

    Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt half the butter in a large cast-iron casserole over a medium heat, add the onions, then fry for 8-12 mins until golden, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic just before the end, then transfer everything to a bowl. Turn the heat up a little, season the beef with salt and pepper and seal it in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, adding a knob of the remaining butter with each one. Deglaze the pan with a little stock as you go along.

  • STEP 2

    Return the onions and beef to the pan, sprinkle over the flour, stir, then pour over the stout and stock. Add the herbs, sugar, vinegar, mushroom ketchup (if using) and some seasoning. Bring the liquid to the boil, cover, then cook in the oven for 1½ hrs. If serving on the day, skim the fat off at this stage.

  • STEP 3

    Remove the casserole and turn the oven up to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Discard the herbs, check for seasoning, then add the celery. Mix the remaining butter with about 2 tsp Marmite, then spread it over the slices of French bread on one side. Arrange the slices, Marmite-side up, overlapping on top of the casserole, then return to the oven for another 30-40 mins until the toasts are golden and crisp. Serve straight away.


Mushroom ketchup, a traditional condiment

in use since Victorian times, adds an earthy

richness to sauces, stews and soups. Geo

Watkins is the most common brand – find

it in the sauces section of most supermarkets

for £1.09/170ml bottle.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2009

Goes well with


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.6 ratings