Preheat the oven to 180°C on one of the lower shelves.
In a pot on the stove, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the beef and brown on both sides. Remove beef and set aside.
Add onions and lower heat – you want the onions to be pale and soft. This gives an aromatic backbone to the dish and is less sweet than caramelising onions.
This will take a good while, so it's a good time to clean and slice the garlic. But do watch the pot. Add the flour and cook until a biscuit colour, stirring.
Add beer, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, chilli and stir. It will sizzle delightfully and then settle. Add beef and any juices and season to taste. Remove from heat, seal pot with heavy duty foil, making a little gash in the centre with a sharp knife.
Transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hr 30 min. Remove, taste and adjust seasoning again.
Reprinted with permission of The Food and the Fabulous
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