Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Beer Beef Stew

Beer Beef Stew
Adapted from Michael Smith’s Chef at Home FoodTV episode
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 1-1½ hours

Serves 4-6

½ cup vegetable oil
3 lb/1.3kg chuck roast (blade or other should roast) cut into large cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 large garlic cloves (not a typo), peeled and thinly sliced
1 small can of tomato paste
2 bottles of beer (I used Guiness, but whatever you choose, make sure it’s a dark lager) He didn’t stipulate on size of the bottle, so see directions for what I did.
2 cups beef stock
2-3 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 potato, shredded to thicken the stew
½ lb/225 g fresh mushrooms, quartered
Chopped parsley for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/170°C

2. Heat all the oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Work in batches and sear the meat until brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. I know that ½ cup of oil sounds like a lot, but it’s to make sure the sides of the meat get browned as well as the tops and bottoms. Once you’ve seared each batch, use a slotted spoon to remove the meat and set aside. Continue this process until all the meat is seared.

3. Once the meat is all seared, remove most of the oil from the Dutch oven. Sauté the mushrooms until golden and remove. Add the onion, sauté for 5 minutes or until they are golden. Add the garlic and tomato paste and stir for a few more minutes to bring out the flavors.

4. Return the browned meat and mushrooms back to the pot, add the bay leaves and the beer and stock (just enough to cover the meat). Taste for seasoning. Add the shredded potato (this will thicken the sauce, but mine didn’t thicken enough so you might want to consider using 2 potatoes or, as I did, once the stew was ready I added some flour and water to do some last minute thickening).

5. Bake in the center of the oven, covered for 1-1½ hours. Remove the bay leaves and the thyme stalks.

6. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and serve.

It is great over mashed sweet potatoes!

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