There’s nothing like mopping up a good gravy with crusty bread so a hearty beef and ale stew topped off with cheesy toast is a real winner.
500 g stewing beef, cubed
50 g beef dripping
250 g onions, sliced
125 g mushrooms, sliced
28 g plain flour
300 ml brown ale
1 beef stock cube
water as required
seasoning to taste
6 x 2.5 cm thick slices French bread
28 g butter
112 g cheddar cheese, grated
Pre-heat the oven to 170C /Gas 3.
Melt the dripping in a medium sized saucepan and brown the meat in batches if necessary. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the onions and mushrooms to the dripping in the pan and fry until soft.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the flour. Fry for 1 minute and then slowly stir in the brown ale.
Sprinkle in the stock cube, bring to the boil and thin as required with the water. Season well and remove from the heat.
Return the meat to the pan, mix well, and transfer to a casserole dish. Cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours.
Raise the heat of the oven to 190C/Gas 8.
Spread the bread lightly with the mustard.
Cream the butter and cheese together with a pinch of salt. Spread over the mustard and place the bread, cheese side up, on top of the casserole.
Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until the meat is tender and the topping is golden. Serve immediately.