This traditional casserole made from British beef is cooked in rich, dark beer and topped with wholegrain mustard croutons.


Preparation time

15 minutes

Cooking time

150 minutes

Total time

165 minutes == 2 hours 45 minutes




  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.5kg diced stewing steak
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp light brown muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 500ml bottle dark beer (e.g. Guinness Original)
  • 150ml hot beef stock
  • 1 sachet bouquet garni or 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • About 10 slices baguette, cut on the diagonal to 1cm thickness
  • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard


  • Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the meat in two or three batches and brown all over for 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and season.
  • Add the onions, with a little more oil if necessary, and sauté, stirring constantly, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly coloured.
  • Reduce the heat and stir in the flour, with the sugar and vinegar, for 1 minute.
  • Pour in about half the beer, stirring the bottom to loosen any residue.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish and gradually add the remaining beer and the stock.
  • Stir constantly until the liquid is thick and smooth and comes to the boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the beef and stir. Place the bouquet garni and garlic in the middle, immersing completely. Cover the casserole, transfer it to the oven and cook for about 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.
  • Take the casserole out of the oven and remove and discard the bouquet garni and garlic. Spread the bread thickly with mustard and place the slices mustard side-up on top of the casserole, pressing down lightly to immerse slightly. Return to the oven uncovered and cook at 220°C for 15 minutes, or until the bread is crisp at the edges. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli.

Cook’s tips

Alternatively, cook the carbonnade covered, on the hob, for 1-2 hours on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let it boil. Finish in the oven with the baguette.

To freeze, make to just before the baguette stage, allow to cool then freeze. Defrost in the fridge for 24 hours. Place the dish on the hob on a low heat and bring to a simmer. Add the baguette and finish in the oven.