100g bacon lardons
4 beef short ribs (about 300g each)
2 sticks celery, washed and diced
1 small cooking onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 500ml bottle dark beer such as Wold Top Shepherds Watch
2 tbsp plain flour
2 stalks thyme
I bay leaf
8 small shallots, peeled and kept whole
110g/4 oz button chestnut mushrooms, washed
55g/2 oz butter
2 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp brandy
- Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas2
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat and brown the bacon lardons without any oil, then place in a casserole dish.
- Keep the bacon fat in the frying pan and brown the short ribs on all sides adding a little more oil if necessary, when they are a lovely golden-brown place on a dish and set to one side.
- Brown the celery, carrot and onion with a little more oil, if necessary, then add to the casserole dish. Deglaze the frying pan with the beer scraping all the goodness from the bottom.
- Add the flour to the lardons and vegetables and stir to coat everything. Add remaining beer from the frying pan and any bits, bring to simmering point on the hob stirring all the time. Make a little bundle of the thyme and bay leaf and tie with string and add to the casserole. Cover with the lid and transfer to the preheated oven.
- Whilst the casserole is cooking, melt half of the butter and half of the sugar in a frying pan and add the onions, cook over a moderate to high heat until caramelised, transfer to a dish. Repeat with the remaining sugar butter and mushrooms. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the brandy and bubble furiously to deglaze the pan. Add to the onions.
- After 2 ½ hours of cooking time check the beef to see if it is tender, if it is coming away from the bone add the onions and mushrooms and cook for another ½ hour, if not cook a little longer before adding the mushrooms and shallots.
- Remove the meat from the bones and serve with leek and potato mash and some roasted vegetables