sussex stewed steak

sussex stewed steak
A dark sticky stew, the meat a rich mahogany colour and a melt-in-the mouth texture full of beguiling savoury flavours. It is perfect for frugal times since this recipe stands up well with cheaper cuts of beef and is also worth the long cooking - particularly now the autumn evening chill seems to be settling in. It is simplicity itself. 

The first version of this recipe was Elizabeth David’s “Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen “, repeated by Jane Grigson in “English Food” and more recently in Sarah Raven’s incomporable “Food for Family and Friends”.

Why a “Sussex” stew? I can’t think of any reason why this is a particularly “Sussex” dish. I can only assume that it was probably popular in Elizabeth David’s home – one of Cook’s staples – and thus named after the county David was born in!

Serves 4
Skill level: Easy

1.1kg stewing steak, cut into large pieces
2 tbsp plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 x medium English onions
6 tbsp Port (don’t use anything too fancy!)
6 tbsp Stout (I use Guinness)
2 tbsp Mushroom ketchup (or red wine vinegar or a mixture of wine vingegar and Worcestershire sauce)


  1. Preheat the oven to 140 C / Gas Mark 1.
  2. Season the flour with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Rub the seasoned flour over the meat and place the meat into a shallow baking dish.
  4. Slice the onions thinly and place over the meat in an even layer.
  5. Pour over the liquids (Port, Stout and mushroom ketchup)
  6. Cover with greased foil and then any lid for the dish, in order not to let any of the cooking steam to escape.
  7. Place in the very low oven for about 2½ hours. (It can take up to 3 hours depending on how well done you like your meat). The slow cooking means that the beef exudes liquid into the sauce and makes it very rich.
  8. Serve with creamy mashed potato, steamed greens and pureed carrots or a side of buttery mushrooms.


Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

ah, your initial description of the stew is sublime... i'm hungry now...

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

It was delicious although was much darker than I expected. Perfect with lashings of colcannon!