Slow Cooker Ale & Skirt Casserole

I really did think that Gary from Norfolk Deli was winding me up when he said Beef Skirt as I’d never heard of it.  I thought he was hoping I’d go to the shops and ask for it, similar to glass hammers, skirting board ladders etc.  However, I’ve now learned that it’s a great cut of meat for slow cooking, it almost had a slight sweet taste to it.

Here’s a recipe that’s very simple but relies on good quality ingredients to make it sing. It uses beef skirt which is a wonderfully tasty and a less expensive cut of beef and is perfect for slow cooking. Serves 4 increase qty’s for larger families.


  • 500 gms of beef skirt, my preference is Aberdeen angus or a rare breed but failing that use your local butcher.
  • 2 large organic Parsnips
  • 3 good size organic carrots
  • A large onion or 2 small ones.
  • 1 Bottle of dark bottle conditioned ale. Try to use locally produced ale, expect to pay £3 for this. Supermarket mass produced dark ales don’t cut it I’m afraid.
  • Some beef stock (see note*)
  • Fresh garden herbs or a bouquet garni.


Dice the skirt into cubes and brown it off. Chop half the onion chunky and half thinly and put it, the browned skirt and half of the bottle of ale into the slow cooker crock.

Chop the carrots and parsnips into large(ish) batons and put them in too. Top up the crock with stock so that the liquid is level with the contents. Add seasoning (careful with adding salt as some shop bought stock is packed with salt) and fresh garden herbs or a bouquet garni.

You can always thicken the gravy towards the end. I serve it with crispy roast potatoes and green veg but you can have it on its own or experiment by adding other veg such as celeriac or swede; Or add a handful of peas in last 25 mins for colour.

Put your slow cooker on following manufactures instructions (low 6-8 hours).

* I make my own stock from bones I get from my local butcher. Bring to boil then let simmer for hour and then once cooled and sieved put the liquid into ice cube bags and freeze until you need it.

If you want to use the whole bottle of beer then feel free, I just enjoy a drink whilst cooking!

My method:

Gary won’t be best pleased with me, but as a busy mum I didn’t have time to track down a bottle of conditioned dark ale and opted for a supermarket one and as we’re trying to watch the pennies I didn’t use organic veg.  The only other thing I did that was different was that I added some dumplings (Aunt Bessie’s) 90 minutes before the end.  Turning them once.  If this was a detriment to the recipe I couldn’t tell as it was gorgeous.  Makes me wonder how delicious it would have been if I stuck to the recommended ingredients.

Thanks for the recipe Gary.  We will definitely be having it again and you’re welcome on the blog anytime.

For more our our tried and tested Slow Cooker Recipes Click Here.

Author: mediocremum

A slightly older mum of one, who drinks far too much red wine and has an unhealthy obsession with her slow cooker. During the day she's an ICT Trainer, Social Media/Online Marketing consultant and does a bit of public speaking. Full Profile on Google+

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