Slow and low Guinness and beef stew with honey-maple roast carrots and creamy bacon topped mash


While the first day of autumn is fast approaching I can’t help the feeling of excitement building for the changing leaves and cooler temps. Now that we are living in a more tropical climate I’m not really sure how that’s going to pan out but the temperature seems to have dropped (in the night and morning at least) and it’s raining a lot so I’m definitely feeling more at home and in the mood for some hearty scran. Any excuse really. I love this time of year. Over the last few years, we’ve had some great family holidays with my parents around this time of year in the Lake District, in London and in Scotland so there are lots of recent happy memories to feed off. This year we’ll be in New York with Gaby’s parents right at the “official” start of autumn so that is proper exciting. I’m sure the leaves turning in Central park will be worth the trip alone. I’ve only been once before and I can safely say it immediately climbed to the top of my favourite places list. I’m sure it won’t disappoint the second time around. However, let’s see how we get on navigating the city with two kids (and one in the oven 😃) We’ll be fine, right?

Anyhow, I digress, let’s get into this autumn/winter warmer. The triumph that is, Slow and low Guinness and beef stew with honey-maple roast carrots and creamy bacon topped mash. What can I say, it’s a winner. Melt in the mouth tummy hugging joy. A classic and a must. If you can make the stew the day before or early on the day of it will only get better with time and it frees up the oven for your carrots when it comes to it. On top of that it’s a much more stress-free approach doing the beef in advance and then simply focussing on the potatoes, carrots and re-heating the beef to finish. With all slow cooked dishes, one of the main attractions (second only to the joyous result) is banging everything together and letting the oven do all the work leaving you to get out the house of kick back with a beverage. So, what that in mind I’d highly recommend you opt for this approach. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6
Prep time – 30 mins
Cook time – 3-4 hours



– 1kg shin beef on the bone (or off the bone and get some marrow bone separately)
– 1 can Guinness
– 1 large onion (roughly diced)
– 8 large carrots (2 peeled and roughly chopped, the rest scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 3)
– 2 sticks celery (washed and chopped not too fine)
– 4 cloves garlic (peeled, crushed and roughly chopped)
– 1 beef stock cube (dissolved in a few tbsps of boiling water)
– 3 large potatoes (peeled and kept in cold water until ready to cook)
– 50g butter
– 150g cream
– A good splash of Worcestershire sauce
– 2 tbsp paprika (hot, not sweet)
– bunch of flat leaf parsley (leaves only finely chopped)
– 6 sprigs of rosemary (remove leaves from 2, keep the rest on the stocks)
– A drizzle of honey
– A drizzle of maple syrup
– Good olive oil
– Sea salt
– Fresh ground black pepper
– A good squeeze of tomato puree
– 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon cut into strips/lardons




For the beef:

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees c
  2. Remove the beef from the bone and keep a couple marrow bones for the stew. Leave the beef in big chunks.
  3. In a heavy bottom casserole dish, sauté the onions, chopped carrots and celery in a good glug of olive oil over a medium heat for 10 – 20 mins or so until tender without colouring
  4. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil and when smoking add the beef in batches to seal and colour well. The more colour the more flavour.
  5. While the beef is being coloured add the tomato purée, paprika, rosemary leaves, salt and pepper to the veg and stir well
  6. When all the beef is sealed add to the veg with the pan juices, add the marrow bones and pour over the Guinness and beef stock
  7. Mix well over the heat, seal with tin foil, pop the lid on and transfer to the oven for 3.5 hours

For the carrots and potatoes:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees c
  2. Boil the carrots for 10 mins making sure to stop the cooking when they are still slightly firm
  3. Drain and leave to steam dry being careful not to break them
  4. when dry lay the carrots in a single layer on a baking or pyrex tray with the rosemary sprigs distributed in-between
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  6. Drizzle with honey and maple syrup
  7. Roast in the upper half of the oven for 40 mins or until shiny, sticky and golden
  8. Boil the potatoes for 20 mins
  9. Fry off the bacon in a little olive oil until crispy
  10. Rest on kitchen roll to remove the excess oil until ready to use
  11. Drain potatoes and leave to dry
  12. Mash well and finish by whipping in the butter and cream


To serve:

Evenly distribute the carrots along with a healthy dollop of mash topped with the crispy bacon and parsley along with a handsome serving of beef. Accompany with a full bodied red or an ice cold glass of Guinness. or both!


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