Nothing is more Irish than a beef and Guinness casserole, but in the spirit of ish I had to change it up a bit. Guinness is quite bitter, so to balance that I took a cue from Moroccan cuisine and added dried prunes to the recipe. They break down and add to the rich, darkly delicious sauce. Every tagine needs a bit of spice, so I chose the allspice berry for another layer of warm flavour. You can add more root vegetables like parsnips and turnips for extra veggie power.


  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1.5 kg stewing beef in cubes
  • 4 tblsp plain flour, seasoned well with salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tblsp butter
  • 2 tblsp flour, extra
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 large carrots, diced into thick chunks
  • 150 g button mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 500 ml guinness
  • 500 ml good quality beef stock
  • 1 small tin tomato paste
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar
  • 8 pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh thyme or a bouquet garni (can get these as little teabags of dried herbs)
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Coat the beef well in the seasoned flour. Heat a little oil in a non stick frying pan and brown the meat in small batches on a high heat, transferring the browned meat to the casserole dish.
  • Pour the Guinness into the pan and allow to bubble up, add the stock, tomato paste and sugar. Stir well and scrape the bottom of the pan. Pour this mixture over the beef in the casserole dish.
  • In the same frying pan, melt the butter and gently cook the onion. Sprinkle over the 2 tablespoons of flour and allspice, stir well. Add this to the casserole dish and mix well. Add in the thyme, bay leaves, carrots and prunes.
  • Cook in the oven for 3 hours at 150°C, stirring every half an hour. Add the mushrooms for the last hour.
  • Serve with colcannon and green beans.

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