The Honey Pot

A honey bee will search up to 5 miles for food, which is about 4.9 miles longer than I'm willing to look.

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Steak & Ale Stew

I don't remember the origin of this one but it's good. I guess it's an autumn/winter recipe, so about the right time of year to be making it as I post this (October '23).


  • 200g smoked streaky bacon (regular bacon if you're American)
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 850g stewing steak, chopped into chunks
  • 500ml real ale (I use Black Sheep ale, Theakston's is also very good)
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved or quarted if they're very big
  • 2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Slice the onions, wash the mushrooms, dice the bacon and crush the garlic cloves. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a casserole/large cast iron dish. Fry the bacon and onion until softened. Add the garlic and steak, then sprinkle over the salt and pepper. Cook until the beef is fully browned.
  3. Add the ale, beef stock, tomato purée, bay leaves and herbs and mix well. Bring it to a boil, then cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours - 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
  4. Remove from the oven, stir in the cornflour paste, then cook on the hob until the sauce thickens.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and fry the mushrooms over a high heat until crispy and golden. Add them to the stew.