Preheat the oven to 160°C fan.
In a frying pan add the vegetable oil, when the pan is hot, add the beef. Fry until browned, add the shallots and mushrooms, continue to fry for a further 2 minutes.
Transfer from the frying pan to a suitable casserole dish with lid. Add the ale, beef stock, tomato puree and bay leaves and stir well.
Place in the oven for 2 – 2 ½ hours or until the meat is tender (Stir half way through cooking).
Remove the bay leaves.
Making a slurry with the cornflour and water, thicken to your preferred thickness and add the sugar. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes.
Season with cracked black pepper to taste. Serve with green beans, savoy cabbage and your favourite potatoes.