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Fried Beef

Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home

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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