Beef and Ale Casserole with Caramelised Onion Mash

Nothing beats coming home on a dark winter night, after a hard day at work, to a hearty casserole. This beef and ale casserole with caramelised onion mash hits that spot, making the best of what some people think is a difficult cut of beef to cook well.

A great use of the slow cooker.

Don’t skimp on the caramelised onions either, as they add a nice amount of sweetness to the mash!


Beef and ale casserole with caramelised onion mash

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 people


For the casserole

  • 750 g braising or casserole beef diced into large chunks
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 large shallots peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 turnip peeled and diced
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 stick celery chopped
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 400 ml Guinness
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1 glug Worcestershire sauce

For the mash

  • 4 large baking potatoes
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 splash milk or cream for the mash


For the casserole

  1. Pre-heat your slow-cooker if required. 

  2. In a large saucepan (or your slow-cooker crockpot if it is suitable for hob use) brown the meat (to kick in the Maillard Reaction) in a little oil then add the chopped vegetables, garlic, thyme, stock cube and season with freshly ground black pepper. 

  3. Add a good splash of Worcestershire sauce. 

  4. Add the Guinness and deglaze the pan. 

  5. Bring to a simmer and then place in the slow-cooker unit on low or auto for 6-8 hours. 

  6. To thicken the casserole if desired, mix 2tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tbsp cold water and stir well in to the casserole while it is still being heated for a few minutes. 

For the mash

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200degC and bake the potatoes until they are tender when stabbed with a skewer (approximately 60 minutes depending on size). 

  2. Melt 1 tsp butter over a low heat and cook the sliced onions for 20 minutes until browned, sweet and caramelised. 

  3. Cut the spuds in half and scoop the potato out into a bowl that has been warmed slightly in the oven. 

  4. Discard the skins and using the back of a spoon, mash the potato flesh with a tsp of butter, cream or milk and season to taste. 

To serve

  1. Serve the casserole with the caramelised onion-topped mash.

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