Beef and Beer Stew

Beef stewed in beer.  Good for cold, rainy, windy days and nights.  Slow cooks into browned, beefy goodness over a couple of hours.  The result?  Not perfect, I admit it.  It was a little bitter, I think because I used all beer rather than half beer, half chicken broth.  That being said, I was amazed at how beefy the stew liquid tasted given that there wasn’t any broth in it.

This was also a first experiment at using a smaller amount of beef and a larger amount of vegetables in a stew recipe.  You can use any combination of root vegetables that you like – we used 1 medium rutabaga, 2 small carrots, and 4 medium turnips.  We think it might have been better with larger pieces of carrots, and potato instead of either the rutabaga and turnip.  Potato has a milder flavor and softer texture.

Beer and Beef Stew (3-4 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 8 oz. beef broth
  • 8 oz. beer (I used an organic lager)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 c. diced root vegetables

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. butter or oil over medium-high heat in a large pot.  Pat beef dry, and season with salt and pepper.  Brown the meat, stirring infrequently.  Transfer to a separate bowl.
  2. Add the other tablespoon butter or oil and reduce the heat to medium.  Slice the onion thinly, and add to the pot, stirring until softened and browned.  Add flour and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add beef broth to deglaze the pot, stirring up the browned bits on the bottom.
  4. Add beer, seasonings, and reserved beef.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  5. Add root vegetables to the pot, and add a little water or broth if you feel the level of liquid is too low.  Cover, and cook for another hour, or until vegetables are soft and meat is tender.  Check on the liquid level occasionally and add water or broth as needed.
  6. When stew is done cooking, if the broth is too thin, dissolve 1 tsp. cornstarch in 2 tsp. cold water, and then stir into stew to thicken slightly.  Repeat if necessary.  Adjust for seasoning.

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