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Beef, ale and horseradish cobbler

Slow braised, melt-in-the-mouth, rare-breed beef with local ale topped with horseradish scones that are light and soft in the centre, this wholesome winter warmer is perfect for re-fuelling after exploring the great outdoors.

  • 25 minutes prep. time
  • 1 hour 45 minutes cooking time
  • Serves 6
  • Soups, stews & curries
Written by
Image of Clive Goudercourt
Clive GoudercourtDevelopment chef, National Trust
Beef, ale and horseradish cobbler
Beef, ale and horseradish cobbler | © National Trust Images/William Shaw


For the stew

  • 30ml vegetable oil
  • 300g onion
  • 100g celery
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 600g stewing steak, diced
  • 100g butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 250ml ale
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 30g cornflour
  • 10g parsley, chopped (to garnish)

 For the scone topping

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 70g butter
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 30g horseradish sauce or 10g fresh horseradish, grated
  • 1 egg
  • splash of milk to bind


Step 1

For the stew

Heat the oil in a large stock pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté gently for around 5 minutes until soft. Add the nutmeg and stir well.

Step 2

Add the steak to the onion and stir well, sautéing until the meat is coloured on all sides.

Step 3

Add the butternut squash and mushrooms and stir well; continue to sauté gently.

Step 4

Crumble in the stock cubes and pour in the ale. Add the tomatoes and enough water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Give the stew a good stir and simmer, covered, for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Step 5

Dissolve the cornflour in a little cold water and pour into the stew, stirring until you have a thick sauce. Season and spoon into your dish.

Step 6

For the scone topping

Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan/gas mark 5).

Step 7

Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the butter, salt and pepper. Rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Step 8

Make a well in the centre and add the horseradish and the egg. Mix together and add a little milk until you have a soft, pliable dough.

Step 9

Tip the dough onto a floured worktop and gently press it down to flatten it. Use a 30mm cutter to cut out 12 scones.

Step 10

Arrange the scones on top of the stew, leaving enough room for them to rise. Brush the tops with the remaining milk.

Step 11

Put into the oven and bake for around 15 minutes, or until risen and golden. Garnish with parsley and serve.

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