To Fry Beef Another Way

Beef and beer have been staples of the English diet for centuries; this recipe combines them. This is a long-time favorite of the foodways staff and was one of the first recipes translated for modern use with our tavern chefs.

18th Century

Cut Stakes off the Rump, beat them well, and fry them in half a Pint of Ale: Season all with Salt, Nutmeg, Shalots, Parsley, Thyme, and Savoury, shred very small; then roll a Piece of Butter in Flour, and shake it up very thick.

Nott, John. “Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary”

21st Century

  • 2 lbs. beef rump or any other cut of steak you might like
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots
  • ¾ of a bottle of ale (British pale ales and less hoppy beers are best.)
  • 2 oz. of butter for thickening
  • 2 oz. of butter or olive oil for frying
  • A teaspoon each of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley
  1. Cut the rump into steaks as thick as you choose and then pound them flat with a meat mallet.
  2. Heat 2 oz. of butter in a frying pan and fry each steak for two to seven minutes a side, depending on how well-done you like your steak.
  3. Pour in beer and add the chopped onion. Cook for about five minutes.
  4. Take 2 oz. of butter and work it into a paste with 2 oz. of flour.
  5. Chop shallots and parsley together and add to the pan.
  6. Stir in the flour and butter paste and cook until the sauce begins to thicken.

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8 Responses to “To Fry Beef Another Way”

  1. July 7th, 2011

    James Corky Kelley says:

    I made this dish in Gettysburg PA during the 4th of July. It was a hit; the whole family loved it. Being from Delaware, the one thing I did differently was to add mushrooms.

  2. July 14th, 2011

    Tammy Tannehill says:

    I will be taking this with me to the upcoming fur trade rendezvous next week in Danbury, WI. Can’t wait to try it. It sounds wonderful… I think even my picky eaters may like this one!

  3. July 23rd, 2011

    Brian Cortez (aka, Doct John Hart) says:

    I just made this tonight, and it came out great. Served over pasta, it’s like a Beef Stroganoff dish. I also used my own homebrewed “Cranberry Blonde Ale” for the Ale addition.

    Attached is a photo of it plated. As a Revolutionary War reenactor, all I can say is, Huzza! Huzza!! Huzza!!!

    • February 10th, 2012

      CHEF UNCLE THOMAS says:

      DOCT JOHN HART, I’LL BET THAT CRANBERRY BLONDE ALE SET THE BEEF INTO ORBIT. SOUNDS DELICIOUS! I THINK I’LL USE A SAM ADAMS OCTOBERFEST BEER, PLUS SOME LARGE BUTTON MUSHROOMS SLICED THICK WITH STEMS PULLED AND DISCARDED.

  4. December 18th, 2011

    Jo Ann Ptack says:

    Beef is delicious and easy! Could use some tips on garnishes…

    • December 19th, 2011

      Historic Foodways says:

      During the period there were three main garnishes being used. The first was citrus. Oranges, lemons, and limes coming from the Carribean colonies were used often on the tables of the very wealthy. Frequently, they were jagged, this is a process of cutting out little squares of the rind so they appear like a gear.

      Another common garnish was fried parsley. This was done by throwing a bunch of fresh parsley into a pan of hot oil and frying it for a minute or so just to crisp it up then drying it and setting on the plate as a garnish.

      The third most common garnish was the sippet. These are pieces of bread cut into strips or triangles and then fried in butter to color them. They were used like taco chips to dip in and pick up wetter dishes. One of my favorite period garnishes was to alternate slices of beets and hard boiled egg yolks around the rim of the plate. Soups were almost always garnished by floating a bread roll in the middle.

      Frank

  5. December 21st, 2011

    Pam Williams says:

    Beautiful, JoAnn! Your garnish looks fine to me!

    And, yes to the advice about “less hoppy” beers. The first time I made this, I did not heed that advice. Curious that, although – as we all know – the alcohol cooks out, the strong taste of hops did not. It wasn’t horrible, but, simply a little much. The heavy taste of hops came across as slightly bitter. Tried a lighter, “less filling” beer the second time (NO! NOT LIGHT BEER ) and it was a better flavor.
    Happy Holidays!
    Ms. Pammy

  6. September 24th, 2012

    kirean says:

    I made this for a special meal Saturday night. I added a bunch of forest mushrooms to really finish off the combo of beef, onion, beer and mushrooms. A big hit.

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