Beef Hotpot

First a joke.

A woman walks into a bar and asks for a double entendre, so the barman gave her one.

Next an observation. It’s the General Election in the UK next week. The General Election is like voting for a new President in the US, except the difference is that no one cares.

Now a dilemma. After much research I’ve realised I don’t need iCloud. I have 7,500 photographs and I just loaded all of them into iCloud. But they are nearly all pictures of me making food. That’s the problem with digital photography and wine. You end up just taking hundreds of pictures of a bowl of chilli which turn out all to look not quite right. I don’t need to keep them all but I cannot quite bring myself to delete them. I mean I could just leave them on the laptop but I…well I’m conflicted about the whole thing. I am starting to think that the ‘Cloud’ is a big red herring, it isn’t the future…maybe.

Finally a recipe.  A nice, simple, straightforward hotpot.


Now a Beef Hotpot is a sure-fire thing. Everyone will eat a nice Beef Hotpot (except the wife of course, she being of the non-meateating persuasion). About the only thing you need to consider with some consideration…is the type of beef. You shouldn’t use something too tender, like sirloin, because it will just fall apart. Mmm falling-apart-beef. No you need something a little tougher. Some muscle thats done a bit of work.

Something like skirt. Or flank. (Actually these two might be the same thing with different names. That’s the problem with food generally; everyone uses different names for the same thing and it all gets terribly confusing).


You will need:

  • a couple of pounds of stewing beef
  • 12 or so shallots
  • 2 or 4 carrots
  • a tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bottle Guinness
  • 1/2 pint beef stock
  • small pack bacon bits (I found these after I took the photo above so they don’t appear)
  • big knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • some herbage for decoration
  • 2 or 3 big potatoes, depending on how much you like potato

First dice the beef and coat in seasoned flour. Fry in some oil in batches and set aside.


Now get a wooden spoon and lovingly scrape the delicious bits off the bottom. Add some butter and get it foaming. Add the shallots and fry to brown a bit.


Add the bacon and continue to fry to melt off the bacon fat. Everyone likes melting off a bit of bacon fat. Even the wife, although she can’t eat said melted off bacon fat. Make sure you mix up the bacon and shallots with all those lovely bits of sticky stuff from the bottom of the pot.


Add the carrot and the beef.


Add the beef stock and Guinness…


Finally add the mustard, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste.


Now cover and pop in the oven at 150 centigrade for 2 to 3 hours depending on…a whole bunch of stuff, just make sure its good and tender.

Slice the potatoes really thin (another chance to deploy the mandolin. Or should that be mandoline. Don’t care).

Take the pot out the oven and lovingly layer the potatoes over the meaty goodness.


Return to the oven, covered for half an hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through (Remove the lid for the last tenmins to let the whole thing brown off a bit).


Now we need to dig in.


Look at all those layers of meaty, potatoey goodness. Might look better on a plate?


Give it a go. Let me know…

13 thoughts on “Beef Hotpot

  1. Excellent hot pot. I have been using Adobe Lightroom. I saw that there is an upgrade. the upgrade is cloud based and that would mean that I have paid for the original software, aid for upgrades and now have to subscribe to pay every month forever if I want to upgrade. Not happy. However, the current software will work until they upgrade the Mac software again and I can’t use anything that is not SAS, (software as a service.) Damn!

  2. I need that beef hotpot right now! I’d like it steaming which is exactly what I’m doing right now after talking to a fine young techie at the Apple store about this issue w/photos. Apparently after the greeter told me that the way I’d been doing photos for months now isn’t the way it works & that what I did didn’t happen (It must have been a weird hallucination). then I got a tech appointment after a little bit of fuss to be told that the Apple developers have been talking about re-doing Apple photos so they work with all Apple products. Very nice, except they sprung it on them & didn’t even notify the stores that it was happening. So it’s apparently up to all the 3rd party vendors to get their applications in sync w/the new Apple photos – that would be vendors like Adobe Photoshop, aol mail, WordPress, etc.
    If you’ve been working w/photos from you file folders you should be able to export them from IPhoto into your other folder & then you “might” be able to use them in the applications. He estimates that “everyone should be in sync within a FEW MONTHS”. There’s an expression I sometimes use about polishing ‘something’ but I won’t put it on your blog.
    And get used to the Cloud because the reason they’re doing this is for people just like you to put all your photos up on the cloud so you can rent out your very own piece of the cloud. Sorry to put this in your food blog but I couldn’t find your email & just wanted to update you.

    • My worst fears are confirmed. I was reading that lots of people drag and drop from iphoto to Photoshop and no longer can which is the same issue with wordpress. WHat i cannot understand is why the internet is not awash with complaining people. Either no one actually does anything or they are all doing it different #weird

      • Well all I can say is that it took everyone, including the tech guy at the store by surprise & it only downloaded this week so I’m sure people are going to notice it soon. They’re apparently going for the casual user who will use only apple products. From what I’m reading in my research of this, the professionals are the ones really in an uproar, especially those who invested in Apple’s Aperture. They’re discontinuing that app & there are a lot of people who bought it and paid big bucks to get certified in it. I had the tech guy transfer all my photos out of that foolish photo bin back to my files but now that means I’m carrying them twice because they still live in the photo bin too. I did keep my one on one training appointment for Thursday & hope to figure out some better work arounds because even after the transfer, my pictures are all coming into Photoshop with their border on top.

          • Excellent. It’s definitely up to all the 3rd party vendors to now come up with workarounds. Unfortunately I’m in the middle of a Photoshop project for my daughter’s wedding & they messed w/me big time with this. Every photo comes over with their foolish border on top. But I’m guessing I can workaround it some way – or hire someone to do it.

  3. The beef hotpot looks great. I don’t use iCloud much either. I have a DropBox account so if there is a photograph from my iPhone I want to use, it automatically loads to a specific DropBox folder and when I’m in WordPress it’s that folder which is the default for uploading photographs. DropBox also allows me to customise how I name the files. Being a nerdy pedant I like YYYY.MM.DD_HH.MM.SS
    Now I’m revealing too much of my OCD-like personality 🙂

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