Saturday, February 27, 2010

Beef and Lager Stew

I used the piled up snow banks (and blustery wind) in the neighborhood as my excuse to make a stew the other night. Well, that and the fact that my husband loves hearty, flavorful food and hearty, flavorful beer! When I saw this recipe in Nightly Specials (Lomonaco), I knew I had to try it. While it calls for a "bouquet garni," I was excited to try out my new herb ball. Between the smell in the house and seeing what was my husband's packed-to-the-brim lunch tupperware practically licked clean the day after, I knew it was a hit.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat or bottom round, cut into 1" cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 - 12oz. bottle beer -- Note: the recipe calls for porter; I used stout since it's still a dark beer and full of flavor.
  • 2 C low-sodium store-bought beef broth -- Another Note: the recipe suggests diluting the broth with 2 cups of water. Depending on how thick you want your stew, you can alter this. 
  • Bouquet garni (or herb ball!) of 2 bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs and 4 rosemary sprigs tied in a cheesecloth bundle with kitchen twine; the fresher the herbs, the better!
  • 1/2 C canned, crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 C carrots, peeled and small-diced
  • 1/2 C celery, diced
  • 1 C rutabaga (wax turnips), small-diced
  • 1 C parsnips, small-diced
Directions:
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pot in a single, not-too-tightly-packed layer wand brown the beef well on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.


  2. Add the onion to the casserole and cook until golden and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the onion with the flour and stir to combine well.
  3. Return the beef to the casserole, pour in the beer and broth, and add the bouquet garni, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper.

    (In true Irish style!)
    Add the carrots, celery, rutabaga and parsnips. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and let simmer for 1 hour.


  4. Pick out and discard the bouquet garni.
  5. The stew can be made up to 2 days ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated. Reheat gently before serving.
Et voila!

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