White Hatter Stew is an adaptation of a well-known Canadian dish, so called because the layer of potatoes forms a white ‘hat’ over the braised beef. Serve this tasty dish with a crisp green salad and chilled lager.
2 oz. seasoned flour, made with
2 oz. flour,
1 teaspoon salt,
2 teaspoon black pepper, -½ teaspoon dried thyme and
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 lb. stewing steak, cut into
4 fl. oz. vegetable oil
1 lb. onions, sliced and pushed out into rings 1 lb. button mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered 1 pint brown ale or dark beer
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce bouquet garni, consisting of
4 parsley sprigs,
1 thyme spray and
1 bay leaf tied together
2 lb. potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 oz. butter, cut into small pieces
This hearty White Hatter Stew may be served with lager for a sustaining family lunch or supper dish.
Preheat the oven to warm 325 °F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).
Place the seasoned flour in a large shallow dish. Roll the meat cubes in the flour until they are evenly coated, shaking off any excess. Set aside.
In a large flameproof casserole, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the meat cubes, a few at a time, and fry, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly browned all over. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cubes to a plate and keep warm while you fry the remaining meat cubes in the same way. Set the meat aside.
Add the onions and mushrooms to the casserole and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Return the meat to the casserole. Pour over the ale or beer and season with half the salt, the sugar, Worcestershire sauce and bouquet garni. Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to the boil.
Remove the casserole from the heat, cover and place it in the oven. Cook the meat for 2 hours.
Remove the casserole from the oven and place the potato slices over the meat, covering the meat completely. Sprinkle over the garlic, the remaining salt and the pepper. Dot the butter over the potatoes.
Return the casserole to the oven and cook the stew, uncovered, for a further 45 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Remove the casserole from the oven and serve the stew immediately, straight from the casserole.