• Yield: Enough for 4 people.

This is one of the excellent old English dishes in which mushroom ketchup and ale or stout make a rich-looking and interesting gravy. Creamy mashed potatoes and perhaps a few friedor grilled mushrooms—if you can get large flat ones—go well with this casserole of steak. The whole dish takes scarcely five minutes to prepare for cooking.


  • 2-1/2 lb of a cheap cut such as chuck steak, top round or thick flank cut in one piece

  • salt and pepper

  • a tablespoon or two of flour

  • an onion

  • 5 to 6 tablespoons each of port and stout

  • 2 tablespoons mushroom ketchup or red wine vinegar


1. Season the meat, rub flour on both sides. Put it flat in a shallow baking dish in which it just fits.

2. Over it slice a large onion. Pour in the port, stout, and ketchup or vinegar.

3. Cover with a double sheet of parchment paper and the lid of the dish. Put it in a very low oven, at 275°F, and leave it for about 3 hours—a little less or longer won’t matter.

4. The toughest piece of meat emerges beautifully tender, and the gravy rich, bright brown, excellently flavored.

Elizabeth David
Elizabeth David was a writer who helped change British cooking in the mid-20th century by introducing Mediterranean dishes through articles and books such as Mediterranean Food.