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Beef and Ale Casserole with Genovese Pesto Dumplings

Prep 15 minutesCooking 3 hours4-6 people

Beef and ale casserole with dumplings is a warming meal for the colder months. The beef is gently slow cooked, making the meat tender, while the Tomato & Balsamic Ketchup adds a rich tomato flavour. The stew is topped with fluffy Traditional Genovese Pesto dumplings that are flecked with basilfrom the pesto.


3 hours

Dinner Recipes

Main Course

Family Recipes

1 hour +

Winter Recipes

Easy Recipes

Nut Free Recipes

Beef Recipes

Meat Recipes



Main Course



800g shin of beef (boneless weight), cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

6 tbsp Early Harvest Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 onions, peeled and sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced

2 tbsp Belazu Tomato & Balsamic Ketchup

500ml beef stock

300ml stout

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs of thyme

2 carrots, stalk removed, cut into chunks

2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

120g plain flour

2tsp baking powder

60g suet

4 tbsp Traditional Genovese Pesto


  1. Place a large deep pan or casserole pot on a medium to high heat and when hot add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Add around half of the beef and brown off, turn the pieces over now and again so that all sides are coloured. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, as this will cause the beef to boil in its own juices. Remove the first batch from the pan to a plate, then add the next batch, adding a little more oil if needed and repeat the process.
  2. Once all the beef is browned, add the onions and garlic and if necessary, a little more oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and brown, scraping off any bits from the bottom. Turn down the heat if the onions or garlic look like they are beginning to burn.
  3. Add the ketchup to the pan, along with the beef stock, stock, bay leaf, thyme, carrots and the beef, and any collected juices. Stir to combine, bring up to a simmer then partially cover and gently cook for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Turn the heat down if it is bubbling too vigorously. You will need to stir the stew every now and again to prevent the bottom from sticking. If you want to, you can cook the stew in the oven instead, at 150C, for a similar amount of time.
  4. Once the beef is soft and tender, turn the heat to low and skim off any fat that has collected on the top. If the casserole looks very thick, add water to loosen, as the dumplings will absorb liquid when they are cooked.
  5. Mix the flour and suet together with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the pesto along with 1 ½ tbsp cold water and mix to form a dough (add a little more water as needed). Flour your hands and roll the dough into 6 dumplings, then nestle these into the top of the casserole and replace the lid. Cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes so the dumplings puff up and expand, then divide and serve with steamed greens.

Included in this Recipe

Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Early Harvest Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Single varietal, stone crushed, cold extracted, Extra Virgin Olive Oil made from the first Arbequina olives of the season.

Traditional Genovese Pesto

Traditional Genovese Pesto

Classic pesto with basil from Veneto Parmigiano Reggiano & pine kernels

Tomato and Balsamic Ketchup

Tomato and Balsamic Ketchup

Our new rich and thick tomato and balsamic ketchup is a perfect accompaniment, and gives an umami depth of flavour to any recipe.