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Beef in the style of the Rhone fishermen

For 6 people

This is my version of a very old recipe favoured by fishermen of the Rhone. Surprisingly, given that no stock or significant amount of other liquid is included, this recipe produces a richly flavoured stew.

You could use a cheaper cut of beef but it will take longer to cook so ask the butcher for advice.

If you don’t like anchovies you can substitute capers.

Keep the meal simple by eating the stew with some good bread and a green salad.



  • 6 thick slices of topside of beef
  • 6 medium onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • A little salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 generous tsp. of slightly softened butter
  • 1 tsp. plain flour
  • A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tbsp. rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 8 anchovy fillets from a jar or tin, cut into small pieces


Cooking Method

You will also need a large casserole with a tight-fitting lid and some greaseproof paper. 

1.Preheat the oven to 150c.

2.Put half of the sliced onions in the bottom of the casserole.

3. Lay the pieces of beef on top and season them with salt and pepper.

4. Put the remaining onions on top of the beef.

5. Mix the flour and butter together in a small bowl, then dot pieces of the       mixture over the onion.

6. Crumple a piece of greaseproof paper, dampen it with a little water and lay it over the top of the beef and onions – this will help produce some steam.

7. Cover the casserole with the lid and cook in the preheated oven for one hour.

8. Remove the greaseproof paper. Mix the parsley, garlic, oil, vinegar and anchovies together and pour over the beef and onions. Dampen the paper with water again and lay it over the top of the beef and onions, replace the lid and return the casserole to the oven for a further hour or until the meat is completely tender.

Recipe provided by Susan Paul, loyal customer of J. Seal Butchers.


Beef stew and crispy potato pie

  • Serves 5
  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 4 hrs
  • Level - Easy 


  • 2 celery sticks, sliced into 1cm slices
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways then chunkily sliced
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 850g braising beef cut into nice large chunks
  • 850g big potatoes, unpeeled
  • 25g/1oz mature cheddar, finely grated
  • 25g/1oz Parmesan, finely grated


Cooking Method

1 Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tbsp oil and the butter. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.


2 Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and put in the oven for 3hrs, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and sauce thickened.


3 Meanwhile put the potatoes in a big saucepan of boiling water and cook until the potatoes are not done, but about 3/4 s of the way there. Start testing the smallest ones first and fish out as they nearly get there.


4 When the meat is ready transfer to a baking dish. Slice spuds into 1cm thick rounds and gently toss with some seasoning, remaining 1 tbsp oil and remaining thyme leaves. Layer on top of the potatoes, scattering with the cheese as you layer. You can cover and chill the pie now for up to a day, or freeze for up to 3 months.


5 Increase oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 30-40 mins until golden and crispy, and the meat bubbling if the dish went in cold.