Winter slow cooker beef braise with redcurrant port sauce

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This slow cooker beef recipe is everything you'd want from a warming comfort food dish. Port and redcurrant sauce gives a sweet yet intense finish, which matches beautifully with the meltingly tender chuck steak. Though this dish benefits from being made in a slow cooker, Karen also offers instructions for a conventional oven so no one has to miss out.

First published in 2016
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As the colder months approach, it’s time to dust off your casserole dishes or slow-cookers and embrace the season with slow cooked recipes, which are perfect for using cheaper cuts of meat such as braising steak, stewing steak, brisket and chuck steak. I am a big fan of slow cooking, and find that as they gently simmer away, it gives me a chance to get on with other household chores.

Irish beef is a favourite in our house, and I love using chuck steak for flavour and texture. Irish beef comes from grass-fed animals which is the secret behind the fabulous full flavour you get from this type of beef; chuck steak, which is a cut from the shoulder of the animal requires very slow cooking in order to tenderise it and break down the fibrous texture, but you will be rewarded with beef dish that has an amazing flavour, and is easier on the housekeeping allowance!

This recipe for 'Winter beef braise with redcurrant port sauce' uses the chuck steak and is cooked in a slow cooker all day for optimum tenderness and taste. The beef is braised for between 6 and 8 hours in a fruity redcurrant and port sauce, and towards the end I also pop some dumplings in to cook for the last hour – the fluffy dumplings then soak up the rich beefy juices and add to the overall comfort of the dish.

The recipe is shared below, with the dumplings as an optional extra; serve this delicious slow-cooked Irish beef recipe with steamed cabbage, buttered carrots and Irish champ or mashed potatoes. You can also serve some extra redcurrant sauce or jelly on the side for an extra sweet and fruity kick, with a little glass of port for the adults if you wish!

NB: Alternative cooking instructions have been given for non slow-cooker cooking in a conventional oven.




Braised chuck steak

  • 750g of chuck steak, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 5cm chunks
  • 2 large onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  • 4 tbsp of ruby port, or tawny port
  • 6 tbsp of redcurrant jelly
  • 150ml of beef stock
  • salt
  • pepper


To serve


Turn your slow cooker on to the high setting, or preheat oven to 150°C/gas mark 2
Place all of the ingredients, except the dumpling mixture, into the slow cooker and cook for 6–8 hours. To cook in a conventional oven, place the ingredients in a roasting tin or casserole dish, cover with tin foil (or place a lid on a casserole dish) and cook for 4 hours
1 hour before the end of the cooking time, make the dumplings by mixing the suet into the flour. Season and mix to a soft dough with gradual additions of water
Shape the dumplings into 6–8 balls, drop on top of the casserole in the slow cooker, replace the lid and cook for a further hour until it is ready to serve. In cooking in a conventional oven, add the dumplings to the dish 45 minutes before the end of cooking.
Serve immediately with your choice of seasonal greens and some mashed potato or champ
First published in 2016

Karen Burns-Booth is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer and food stylist with a passion for local, seasonal ingredients.

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