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Beef, Ale, and Horseradish Cobbler

Our love of scones is without question, so when we came across this recipe recently published by the National Trust in their magazine, we couldn’t wait to try it! Succulent beef braised in British ale along with butternut squash and mushrooms, all topped with horseradish-scented scones . . . this is comfort food. Unquestionably!

Beef, Ale, and Horseradish Cobbler

For the stew:

2 tbs. vegetable oil
11 oz. onions, roughly chopped (2 medium)
4 oz. celery, roughly chopped (4 medium stalks)
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 lb. 5 oz. stewing steak, chopped in large, bite-size pieces and seasoned well
4 oz. butternut squash, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
6 oz. mushrooms, quartered (1½ cups)
2 tsp. beef stock concentrate
10 fl. oz. ale
12 oz. tomatoes, roughly chopped (2 large)
2 tbs. corn starch
1 tbs. freshly chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over a medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté gently for around 5 minutes until soft. Add the nutmeg and stir well.

Add the steak to the onion and stir well, sautéing until the meat is colored on all sides. Add the butternut squash and mushrooms, stir well and continue sautéing. Add in the stock conentrate and pour in the ale. Add the tomatoes and enough water to just come up to the level of the meat. Bring to a boil, give it a good stir, reduce to a simmer and cook 1½ hours, covered for the first 45 minutes, and partially covered for the second 45 minutes. Dissolve the corn starch in a little cold water and stir into the stew. Bubble until you have a thick sauce. Check seasoning and spoon into a baking dish.

For the scone topping:

9 oz. self-rising flour (1¾ cup plus 1 tbs.)
3 oz. butter
pinch of salt and pepper
2 tbs. horseradish sauce or ¼ oz. fresh horseradish, grated
1 egg
milk to bind

Heat the oven to 375°F. Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the butter, salt, and pepper. Rub the butter in with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center and add the horseradish and egg. Mix together and add a little milk until you have a soft, pliable dough.

Tip the dough onto a floured worktop and gently press to flatten to ½” thick.  Using a 2″ biscuit cutter, cut out 12 scones. Arrange the scones on top of the stew and brush with a little milk.

Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the scones are risen and golden. Garnish with parsley and serve with British ale to compliment the flavors.



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