I borrowed this recipe from Jamie Oliver. I tried it and it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S ! Fellow cooks, you should try it in a Sunday, family lunch.
3 tbsp olive oil
• 55 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
• 800 g (1lb 12oz) chuck beef steak, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks
• 55 g (2oz) plain flour (optional)
• 600 ml (1 pint) ale, bitter or stout
• 3 large onions, thinly sliced
• 300 ml (½ pint) beef stock
• 1 tsp dark muscovado sugar (also known as Barbados sugar” or “moist sugar. It was a little hard to find it, but it was worth it)
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tsp fresh soft thyme leaves
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 bouquet garni *
• salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-based pan over a high heat. Season the beef. As soon as the pan is smoking, add the beef and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions to the pan and brown them lightly in the fat used to brown the meat. Add the thyme and bay leaves and stir to combine. Remove the onions and set aside. Add the flour to the pan (because the flour adds calories, I skipped it and I boiled a little while longer to reduce) and stir over a low heat until the resulting roux is a dark-gold color. Pour in the ale, bitter, or stout and the stock, sugar and vinegar. Season to taste. Bring to the boil, stirring, and simmer over a very low flame for 15 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas 3. Layer up the meat and onions in a casserole dish, placing the bouquet garni in the centre. Strain the sauce through a very fine sieve over the meat mixture, then cover and cook in the oven for 3 hours until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened.
Remove the casserole from the oven and discard the bouquet garni. Allow to stand for a few minutes and skim off the fat. Season to taste and serve straight to the table with some mashed potatoes and steamed cabbage, if liked.
Fresh bouquet: Gather together fresh herbs,black peppercorns making sure they have long stems. For a traditional bouquet garni, the herbs should consist of 3 sprigs of parsley, 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 bay leaf
Tie the bunch together with kitchen twine and leave a tail that you can use to haul the bunch in and out of your pot
Dried bouquet: Gather together dried herbs. Mix together 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 teaspoon thyme and 1 bay leaf.