Whilst in Sheffield, we started to come up with this recipe for our beef & ale cobbler. We wanted to include some Henderson’s Relish, some local ale and some local cheese to make this hearty, winter dish that pretty much sums up Sheffield, a city that’s friendly and honest.
This is a Sheffield icon on par with Sean Bean, steel and The Arctic Monkeys. Produced since 1885 to a secret recipe, this relish can be used in a similar way to Worcestershire sauce, but also often put on savoury pies as well as fish and chips.
It also has the bonus of being vegetarian (unlike Worcestershire sauce) and suitable for vegans, so for those of you inspired by ‘Veganuary’ but craving a Bloody Mary, this should be on your shopping list.
If you’re in Sheffield for a day or so, definitely pop along to Sharrow Vale Road, its really turning into a foodie destination and its a great place to wander for an hour or so. You will find Porter Brook Deli with a good selection of cheeses, including some that are local to Sheffield. We tried (and bought) some Stanage Millstone which is produced a few miles away in Hathersedge. A soft, brie like cheese formed in the shape of a millstone, inspired by the stones found on the farm. It’s a very mild flavour without too much acidity or pungency and we have since had this baked with some garlic and herb butter. For our dish we wanted a firmer cheese, so went for some Yorkshire Fettle. Produced in North Yorkshire from sheeps milk, it offers a strong yet creamy flavour, think Wensleydale crossed with Feta.
We were after a dark ale to go into our dish and with many breweries in and around Sheffield, it had to be local. Bradfield Brewery are based in the Peak District and use the spring water drawn up on the farm. We went for their award winning Farmer’s Stout, a dark ale made with roasted malts and oats.
Beef & Ale Cobbler Recipe
500g beef skirt
2 red onions
1 large carrot
2 sticks of celery
2 bay leaves
1 500ml bottle stout or porter
5 tbsp Hendersons Relish
250ml beef stock
250g self raising flour
1 tbsp dried thyme
Preheat the oven to 160°C (gas mark 3)
Heat a large pan with some vegetable oil on a medium heat.
Coat beef in seasoned flour and add to the pan in 2 batches, making sure it browns.
Move the sealed beef to the casserole dish.
Finely chop the carrot, celery and slice the red onion.
Add to the pan with a splash more oil and fry until the onion starts to go translucent.
Pour in half the beer and really scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze.
Add in the other half of the beer and the Henderson’s Relish
Add in the bay leaves and beef stock and tip into the casserole dish.
Place in the oven for at least 4 hours.
Once the meat is looking tender and the gravy has started to thicken nicely, turn the oven up to 200°C
Add the butter, cheese and thyme into a mixing bowl along with the flour and rub until the mixture starts to resemble breadcrumbs.
Add the milk, bit by bit until it comes together to form a dryish dough. Don’t feel you have to use all the milk.
Roll out to 2cm thickness and cut into rounds with a cutter.
Brush the top with milk and place on top of the casserole.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the tops have browned.
We served this with rainbow chard covered in plenty of butter.
You could make a large batch of the stew and freeze but would advise to always make the cobbler topping fresh. You could also make dumplings to go on top instead of the beef & ale.
We would love to see your attempts and other Sheffield inspired recipes so send them in or tweet us!