1kg (2.2lbs) of good quality beef
1 tablespoon flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 celery stalk, diced
250ml/10fl oz Guinness
250ml/10fl oz beef stock, fresh made from a beef stock cube
A good pinch of salt and a few grindings of freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
Fresh thyme leaves, stripped from 4 stalks
1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/325ºF/Gas Mark 3.
2. Melt the butter and a little olive oil in a large casserole dish on the stove (make sure it can also be used in the oven). Add the salt and pepper to the flour mixture, stir well and toss the beef in it. Take out the beef, shake and fry in the butter/oil until browned.
3. Remove the beef to a plate. Scrape up the bits from the bottom of the casserole and add the onion, garlic, diced carrot and celery to the casserole. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the beef to the casserole, add the Guinness, stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf and thyme. Cover the casserole and bake in the oven until the meat is cooked - this can take between an hour and a half and two hours. You need to stir it a few times in between and add some boiling water to top up if it needs more juice.
5. Serve immediately on its own, or with some good bread or mashed potatoes.