Skye Stew

 The following is a very simple steak and ale stew that I made whilst on holiday in Skye.  We ate it on the last night when D came to stay with us and he reckons it was my best stew yet.  Think I agree.  Not only did the three days the stew spent in the fridge improve its flavour greatly, the parsnips had also broken down so much that they thickened the gravy beautifully. 

Skye Stew

(Serves 4)

Olive oil

600g stewing steak, cut into chunks

1 large onion, cut into large chunks

3 carrots, cut into large chunks

2 large parsnips, woody centres removed and cut into large chunks

3 sticks of celery, cut into large chunks

500ml dark beer, (I used Black Cuillin)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tblspn dried mixed herbs or a handful of fresh herbs (e.g. rosemary, thyme, bay)


  • Season the beef well and brown in olive oil over a high heat.
  • Remove beef from the pan using a slotted spoon.  Add the onion and fry for 3 minutes.
  • Add the carrot, parsnip and celery and fry for 2 more minutes.
  • Add the herbs, beef, ale and tomatoes.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 hours or until the beef is tender. 
  • Season carefully and cool.  Keep in the fridge for 2 – 4 days before reheating and serving.

16 thoughts on “Skye Stew

  1. I wouldn’t call this a simple steak and ale stew Wendy. It is packed with so many wonderful flavours of ingredients something my family would really enjoy! Mopped up with crusty homemade bread just perfect 😀 Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Rosie x

  2. That is one lucious stew! Did you drink an ale while cooking with it 🙂 I agree the addition of a great ale really perks up a stew!

  3. Leaving stews for a few days does something close to alchemy doesn’t it?

    Love the idea of parsnips in it! I’ve got a beef and parsnip curry recipe clipped out that I’m dying to try – better get on with it now or there wont be any parnsips to buy make it with soon…

  4. Just put it altogether and simmering now! I had to use Green Man Dark Mild Organic – made in Dunedin NZ. Hubby had a quick shandy first so a bit less than 500ml went into the pan!
    So sure I am that it will be marvellous – that I have invited one more for tea. Doubt if any will be left for the fridge…..(next time perhaps).
    Thanks so much Wendy. An ideal recipe to warm us on this cool Autumn day.

  5. Simple but lovely looking stew – winter is made for stews and soups, and anything that re-packages the ever-present parsnip is a winner. The dark ale is a great idea.

  6. It was just delicious and a beautiful fresh colour too! More than enough for three more meals – so will be wonderful after days in fridge mmmm. Thanks again, will be another favourite!

  7. Rosie – You’re so right. Gravy and crusty bread – yum!

    Deb – We sampled a couple of the sky ales that week. The dark one was my favourite. Couldn’t drink more than one, mind you. 🙂

    Sophie – I usually get a little fed up of winter produce around this time but this year I feel like I’m running out of parsnip time!

    Lucy – We’ve got quite a few good local breweries in the Highlands and Islands. Not a beer drinker (anymore) so haven’t sampled many.

    Annemarie – We’ve certainly had the weather for stews and soups lately. Not that I’m complaining.

    Helen – Wow, that was fast work! Thrilled you enjoyed it. Try to keep a little for a couple of days and taste again. The flavour matures spectacularly.

  8. Snap! I cooked a very similar stew with which to entertain on Monday evening – only I served parsnips on the side drizzled with honey and fresh thyme. Oh – and I added some butter to the browning oil – gave a lovely unctuous touch!

  9. Stews are the perfect comfort food; this one looks hearty and warm, perfect for a winter day! I love the header on your blog, it’s really cute :). Nice meetin’ Ya!

  10. Sophie – Hello and welcome! The header is by a Scottish artist called Faye Anderson. Click on the Artwork tab if you’d like to know more about her. 🙂

    Ross – You’re very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s