For the cobbler topping


  • STEP 1

    If you have time, tip the beef into a large bowl, pour over the stout and chill for up to 24 hrs. If you do marinate the beef, drain, then pat dry using kitchen paper before continuing. Reserve the stout.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in flameproof casserole dish over a high heat and brown the beef on all sides (you’ll need to do this in batches). Set aside on a plate. Brown the onions and carrots for 6-8 mins, then scatter in the flour and stir to coat. Return the beef and any resting juices to the casserole, and stir well. Pour in the reserved stout and crumble in the stock cube. Season with salt, pepper and the sugar. Tie together the thyme and bay leaves using kitchen string, drop into the stew and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hrs 30 mins-3 hrs, or until the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and turn up the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

  • STEP 3

    While the beef cooks, make the topping. Warm the milk and Marmite, if using, in a small pan over a low heat until steaming, then set aside. Tip the flours, thyme, baking powder, butter and a large pinch of salt into a bowl and rub together using your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in 100g of the cheese. Stir in the warmed milk until a dough forms, then tip out onto lightly floured surface and pat out into a 2cm thickness. Stamp out scones using a round cutter or glass, re-rolling the offcuts to get 10 total.

  • STEP 4

    If your stew isn’t close to the rim of the casserole dish, transfer to a pie tin or ceramic baking dish. For the glaze, brush the beaten egg over the scones and arrange on top of the stew, overlapping slightly if needed. Scatter over the remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 mins until deeply golden. Leave to rest for 5 mins, then scatter over some extra thyme leaves and serve from the dish.

Goes well with


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