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Sailors' Beef


Anchors away!

Sailors' Beef

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
Anchors away! Sailor's Beef can also be prepared with the following recipe in your slow cooker; simply follow the manufacturer's directions regarding timing (remembering that the longer the stew cooks, the more the flavors will meld).

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds inexpensive beef stew meat
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8" slices
  • 3 tsp. dried thyme or rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 12-ounce bottle light ale or lager
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water


Preheat oven to 350º.

Place the beef stew meat between two sheets of waxed paper and pound until each piece is flat (a heavy rolling pin works well for this).Melt butter and olive oil together in large, sturdy frying pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and beef and cook until the onions are opaque and the meat is browned.

Place one-third of the potatoes in the bottom of a casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. dried thyme (or rosemary) and salt and pepper to taste (I use about 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper). Remove half of the meat and onions from the frying pan with a slotted spoon and place on top of the potatoes. Cover with one-third of the potatoes and repeat the seasoning with 1 tsp. of dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Spoon the remaining meat and onions on this layer, top with the remaining third of the potatoes, and season once more with 1 tsp. thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour the bottle of beer into the casserole over the layers.

Pour the hot water into the frying pan, stir briefly to incorporate water with the pan liquid remaining from the meat and onions, and then pour this liquid into the casserole as well. Cover casserole and bake at least two hours (three won't hurt it) until the potatoes are tender and the stew is bubbly.

Serve immediately.

Yield: 6-8 servings Scandinavian Sailors' Beef.

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