Boiled Beef in Beer

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 4 lb. beef will serve



Appears in

This is a North Country recipe from the early nineteenth century. The tradition in the household was that the dish had been prepared in the past by their parsimonious ancestors for the hay-making supper for tenants, because part of an old ox which had been kept to work all winter could be used, since the beer helped to tenderize the meat. The tenants liked the taste of the beer and considered the dish a grand one.


  • 1 quart light ale to every 4 lb. (2 k.) beef (to be added after marinating)
  • 4–12 lb. (2–6 k.) lean beef, well tied (ask for stewing beef)
  • 2–4 lb. (1–2 k.) onions, peeled and sliced
  • large bundle of herbs, sweet
  • 3 or more cloves
  • a little mace
  • a little turmeric
  • ½ or more peppercorns, salt
  • ¼ pint (1½ dl.) wine vinegar
  • 4 oz. (120 g.) dark treacle for every 4 lb. meat


Pile the onions on top of the beef and marinate 12 hours or overnight in all the other ingredients except the ale. Spoon the liquid over the meat from time to time.

Then put the meat, onions and marinade in a very large saucepan and fill up with beer to cover. Simmer very gently for 3 hours, check seasoning and serve with boiled potatoes, red or baked cabbage, and a sweet chutney.