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Beef and Barley Stew

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
2 tbsp vegetable oil
875 g braising steak, cut into 5 cm cubes
375 g onions, sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
550 ml bottle brown ale (dark ale)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250 g carrots, sliced into thick chunks
100 g pearl barley

method

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) gas mark 3.

2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole over a moderate heat.

3. Brown the beef in two batches on all sides until well browned, this takes about 5 minutes.

4. Transfer to a warm plate.

5. Add the sliced onions and fry for 5 minutes or until the edges become browned.

6. Return the beef to the casserole with the herbs and seasoning.

7. Add the ale and bring up to the boil.

8. Cover and cook in the centre of the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

9. Add the carrots and barley and cook for another hour.

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