This is comfort food at its best. Sweet braised beef with lovely light and fluffy gnocchi, garnished with spring onion and cucumber to bring that spring freshness to cut through the richness of the dish. It’s the perfect Sunday alternative to the usual roast. Just throw all of the ingredients together and braise for 4-5 hours. You can hand make your gnocchi which is easier than you think, or just buy shop bought if you’d prefer.

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

  • 800g whole stewing beef (chuck, skirt, cheek, feather etc.)
  • 3  red onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 500ml bottle of dark ale
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 6 plums
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 spring onion finely sliced to serve
  • half a cucumber peeled and finely sliced to serve

For the gnocchi:

  • 400g potato
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1 large egg (whisked)
  • Generous pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 2/150°C/300°F.
  2. Cut your plums in half, onions into quarters and slightly bash your garlic cloves to release the flavour. Add to your roasting tin.
  3. Heat a large frying pan on full until its really hot. Season your beef and seer with a little oil on each side.
  4. Add to the roast tin, sitting on top of the veg. Pour in the Ale and beef stock.
  5. Roast for 3-4 hours covered or with a lid or foil.
  6. Whilst the beef is braising, Cook your potatoes through, ready for mashing. Mash into a smooth consistency. Leave it to cool down and then add to a bowl and sift in the flour, followed by the whisked egg. Mix together thoroughly, cut into quarters and then roll each out into a sausage shape. Cut into small bite size gnocchi. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until the float to the top and then leave to cool down for later.
  7. Take out the beef and leave to slightly cool so that you can dice it into equal cubes. strain the cooking stock into a jug to remove the plums and vegetables.
  8. Pour the diced beef and stock back into the roasting tin along with the cider vinegar and soy sauce, cover and cook for a further hour.
  9. Add the roasting tin on top of the stove, on a high heat to reduce the rich stock into a thick sauce that coats the meat. Add in the gnocchi to heat back through. coating it in that rich sauce.
  10. Serve with chopped spring onion and cucumber.


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