Beef and Ale Casserole with Rarebit Topping Recipe

(18 ratings)

casserole recipes
Preparation Time30 mins
Cooking Time3 hours 15 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories653 Kcal33%
Fat23 g33%
Saturated Fat10 g50%

For a classic British dish and easy casserole recipe, look no further than this beef and ale casserole topped with cheesy rarebit. A treat for everyone and simple to make.



  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1.5kg (3lb 6oz) stewing steak, such as shin or chuck, cut into large chunks
  • 3tbsp seasoned flour
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1tsp English mustard powder
  • 2tbsp tomato purée
  • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 500ml (18fl oz) ale (reserve 1tbsp)
  • 600ml (1pt) good-quality fresh beef stock 2 bay leaves
  • 400g (14oz) button mushrooms

For the rarebit topping

  • 100g (4oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2tsp wholegrain mustard
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • ½ free-range egg, beaten
  • 1tbsp reserved ale
  • 12 slices baguette, lightly toasted


  1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish. Toss the beef in the flour; brown in batches. Remove the beef, pour in a splash of water and return to the heat, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the juices. Set the beef aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the casserole dish and add the onion and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes. Return the meat and any leftover flour, stir in the mustard and tomato purée, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, redcurrant jelly, ale, stock and bay leaves, bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer for 2 hours 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the mushrooms and simmer with the lid off for 45 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the beef is tender. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge, or freeze for 1 month (defrost thoroughly before reheating).
  4. For the rarebit, mix the Cheddar, mustard, cayenne, egg and reserved ale. Season and spread onto the bread. Place on top of the hot casserole (either in one large dish or in individual ovenproof bowls) and place under the grill until the mixture is golden.
Jane Curran

Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.