Get a couple of cups of flour. I had 1.5kg/about 3 pounds for you American fuckwits of beef. I got chuck. That's what we call it here. I don't know what the hell else you'd call it. Anyway, your problem, not mine.
Cut your beef into 1cm slices. Doesn't really matter how long they are, but you don't want them too thick at all is the thing.
Get your flour, stick it in a biggish bowl, and season it well with salt and pepper.
Oil and butter. Remember the thing? Go for a ratio of 1/3 oil to 2/3 butter. You want quite a bit here, enough to cover the bottom of the pan almost 1cm deep. When the butter foam subsides, give it another minute or so to make sure, and then it will definitely be hot enough to use. A bit higher than a flat-out medium heat is required here. Medium and a bit.
Dip the beef strips in the seasoned flour a few at a time. Do this as you go. Don't do them all at the start or they'll go sticky.
Put a few beef strips in in a well-spaced single layer and give them a good searing, about a minute or two on the first side before flipping them and doing it again on the other.
This is the colour you want.
You do *not* want to overcrowd the pan. The temperature will drop, the water will come out of the beef, they will stew and go soggy, and you may as well dump everything you've just bought for this in the bin and go cry in your bedroom for a while as you eat the shameful 2$ a box discount chocolates you keep in your sock drawer because you an impatient bitch who cannot read. This step took me almost an hour and a half. I had a lot of beef to sear. Though, look. It was an entirely pleasurable experience. I didn't have anywhere to be, I was listening to some pimp-ass music, I had Facebook open on the bench, and I just took my sweet time doing what had to be done. The house smelled amazing, I was just floating around in the kitchen browning my beefs like a bawss and it was actually pretty awesome. The experience does not have to be unpleasant. Time consuming does not have to be a pain in your ass. If your attitude is good, then you can actually have a bit of fun while you're doing it. Life is not that bad, so shut the fuck up and enjoy yourself.
As each batch browns, remove them to a plate, again in a single layer. They'll be hot, right, so they'll be steaming. If you just dump them into a bowl like a gauche cunt then they'll steam all over each other and become soggy and back to your shameful sock-chocolate for you.
If you need to replenish your fats, do so. If the heat is at the proper setting, it will not burn, but the flours and meat juices will caramelise into a pan full of dizzy-making flavour. So you want to keep all of it in there. Just add more butter and oil as you need to, keeping that ratio the same.
By the time each layer cooks, the previous layer will have cooled, so you can then dump them into some kind of vessel as you go along.
When they are all done, move on to the bacon. Also scrape all that delicious caramelised buttery goodness the beef was searing in into the vessel.
There are six slices here that I just cut up.
Just until all they colour a bit.
When the bacon is done, you don't have to wash the pan, just dump in some butter-oil and do your mushrooms. Slice them thinly and do them in a single layer also. Make sure the butter is hot. If it is not, then they will drink that shit up faster than Elizabeth Taylor and you'll just have to add more. If it is hot enough, they will actually cook in it. Until they brown a bit. Then into the vessel with them. I just used a couple of handfuls here. The thing about this is that quantities are absolutely unnecessary.
Onions. There are one and a half onions in this pan. The other half I didn't feel like using and it is currently languishing on the windowsill curling up and going dry while I pretend I will use it later. Same butter/oil ratio. Don't put any salt in the pan because these are good if they colour a bit and go ever so slightly golden and crispy. Put plenty of black pepper in them at the end. Julia Child taught my dad to do onions in this way when they somehow knew each other in the sixties or seventies. I know, right. My dad was legendary, sorry bout it.
Dump the beef, onions, and bacon back into the pan and give it a good stir around so everything combines sexily.
Then shove it back in the casserole and dump about 600mls of hot beef stock over the whole thing with a whole 400ml or whatever can of Guinness
Give a stir.
Strew a fucktonne of fresh thyme over it, bang on a lid, and let that sit in the oven at about 150 for a good 4 or 5 hours.
Then it will look like this.
Eat it however you want. On anything. In anything. I crammed it into pies.
Just call me Mrs fucking Lovett.