Serves 6
This satisfying and deliciously warming dish can be made with beer, red wine or beef stock. We tested all three and can’t choose! All are outstanding, depending on your preference. Try the variation for venison, it is excellent. Serve with buttered noodles and a green salad dressed with our Classic Red Wine Vinaigrette.
Recipe Category

You will need

1 – 1 ¼ kg beef chuck or buy a mixture of chuck and shin (better to cube it yourself at home)
3 T (45 ml) olive or canola oil
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Meat Spice
2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning
2 T (30 ml) Ina Paarman’s Roast Onion Soup & Gravy Powder
750 g shallots or baby or pickling onions, peeled
3 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
340 ml can of beer
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
1 bay leaf
fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1 short French loaf, sliced
wholegrain mustard

Ina’s Tip

Cool the casserole down in a sink-full of ice water. Refrigerate and serve a day or two later. Not advised if you are using an iron pot, only suitable for stainless steel or enamel coated saucepans. Don’t even think of aluminum! It is out!


Position oven rack one shelf below the middle and preheat the oven to 150°C. Cut the meat into neat 3 cm cubes. The reason why it is best to cut your own meat is that so-called ‘stewing steak’ sold in the supermarkets often contains a mixture of beef cuts, each with different characteristics.
Over high heat warm up a solid ovenproof saucepan or a flat bottomed potjie. Add oil and brown the meat in 2 or 3 batches. Remove browned meat with a slotted spoon to a plate and toss with a mixture of the seasonings and Roast Onion Soup Powder. Add a little more oil and brown the onions. Shake the pot to roll the onions, so they can brown all round. Add the garlic when the onions have browned. Add a dash of the beer to the onions now and again just to prevent burn-on. The rest of the beer is added later.
Add water, Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, remaining beer and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, add the previously browned meat. Place a secure lid on the pot and bake for 3 hours. Can be pre-prepared to this stage.
Spread a thick layer of mustard on one side of the slices of French bread. After 2 ½ hours of baking, remove the pot from the oven, check tenderness. Set the oven to 200°C. Taste for seasoning and add lemon juice for freshness. Pack the bread over the meat to fit snugly, mustard side uppermost. Bake for another 20 minutes without the lid just to crisp the bread.
Instead of the beer, use 1 ½ cups of red wine, or 1 ½ cups of water and 1 ½ T of our Beef Stock Powder.
This is an excellent recipe to use for venison. Red wine would be a good choice here. Venison shanks are my preferred cut.