Beef and stout stew with potato cobbler

This is a bit of a mish-mash of two recipes from The Hairy Bikers but it turned out really well!


I was initially intending to make their beef and stout suet pudding but after failing to find a suitable pudding basin, I went to plan b. Instead I topped the stew with potato cobbler. This was taken from one of their other recipes and worked superbly. It was a lot easier than it may seem and the results are fantastic. It certainly made for a lovely Sunday dinner.

If you want really smooth mashed potato for the cobbler, or in fact any other recipe, it’s easiest to use a potato ricer. We bought the one below for just under a couple of months ago and haven’t seen lumpy mashed potato since.

For the casserole:

2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium onions, chopped
200g/7oz button mushrooms, wiped and sliced
4 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp flaked sea salt
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
750g/1lb 10oz well-marbled braising steak, such as chuck and blade
1 bay leaf
440ml/15½fl oz stout
300ml/10fl oz beef stock, made with 1 stock cube
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp caster sugar
freshly ground black pepper

For the potato cobbler topping:

250g/9oz peeled floury potatoes, such as King Edwards or Maris Piper
250g/9oz self-raising flour, plus extra for rolling
1 tsp fine sea salt
100g/3½oz cold butter, cut into cubes
125ml/4fl oz full-fat milk, plus extra for brushing


  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
  • Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Fry the onions and mushrooms over a medium heat for about five minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring regularly
  • Put the flour, salt and dried herbs in a large bowl. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper and mix well. Trim the beef of any hard fat and sinew. Cut the beef into roughly 2.5cm/1in cubes. Toss the meat in the flour until coated evenly all over. Tip the beef and all the flour into the pan with the onions and mushrooms. Fry for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the bay leaf, stout, stock, tomato purée and sugar. Stir well and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and carefully transfer to the oven. Cook for 2¼ hours, or until the beef is very tender, stirring halfway through the cooking time. If the beef remains a little tough, return to the oven and cook for longer
  • While the beef is cooking, prepare the mash for the cobbler topping. Peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm/¾in chunks. Put in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender
  • Drain in a colander and mash with a potato masher or put through a potato ricer until smooth. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. You will need 250g/9oz mashed potatoes for the cobbler topping
  • Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 250g/9oz mashed potatoes and rub together with the butter and flour
  • Stir in the milk and mix to form a soft, smooth dough. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and roll into a thick sausage, about 24cm/9½in long. Cut into 12 rounds, each around 2cm/¾in thick
  • Top the beef mixture with the potato dumplings, overlapping them slightly, so they almost cover the filling. Brush with a little extra mix to glaze. Season with a little ground black pepper and some sea salt. Return to the oven without a lid for a further 30 minutes, or until the cobbler topping is well risen, fluffy and golden-brown

Hairy Bikers’ chicken casserole with potato cobbler

Hairy Bikers’ layered beef and mushroom suet pudding

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Beef and stout stew with potato cobbler
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About Lisa C

Lisa is very much the culinary brains behind LondonPiggy. She grew up in north London and her love of food is matched by her passion for travel. She's already visited every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. C She's currently working on an exciting new project, visit

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