|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
There's nothing quite so warm and comforting on a cold winter's evening as a bowl of hearty stew simmering on the stovetop or woodstove. This beef stew was made for just such a night. The beer complements the beef beautifully, and the root vegetables and dried herbs give it savory flavor and wonderful aroma. If at all possible, sear the beef in bacon drippings. The smoky flavor adds depth of flavor to the stew.
The vegetables include potatoes, carrots, and onions, but diced rutabaga, parsnips, or turnips are some other possibilities. Mushrooms can be added to the stew as well. Just saute 4 to 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and add them along with the vegetables. If you choose to add some frozen peas, cut green beans, corn, or mixed vegetables, add them about 10 minutes before the stew is ready. Fresh peeled or frozen pearl onions make a good replacement for the cut-up onions.
Serve the stew with a crusty sourdough or French bread. If you like to bake your bread from scratch, try this no-knead beer rye loaf.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or part bacon drippings)
- 2 lbs. beef chuck (lean stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can beef broth (condensed)
- 1 (12-ounce) can beer
- 4 medium carrots, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4 medium to large potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 6 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cold water
Heat the vegetable oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Drain excess drippings, if desired.
To the beef, add the 1 teaspoon of salt, the pepper, the herbs, beef broth, and beer. Stir to blend and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low; simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the carrots, potatoes, and onions and continue cooking for about 30 to 40 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
In a small bowl or cup, combine the flour and cold water; whisk or stir to form a smooth paste. Stir the flour mixture into the stew and continue to cook until hot and thickened, stirring constantly.
If the stew becomes too thick, add a small amount of water or beef stock.
For a full-flavored beef stew, choose a bold beer like a porter or stout. A dark ale is a good choice as well. Try to avoid coffee flavored stouts as they tend to be somewhat bitter. Choose what you like to drink.
Choose red-skinned potatoes, new potatoes, fingerlings, Yukon gold, or round white. These potatoes are lower to medium in starch and hold their shape well. If you do use russets or Idaho potatoes, avoid overcooking.