Friday, October 15, 2010

Beef and beer

Here's a comforting stew - like meal that combines beef, beer, mushrooms and onions.  The slow cook sweetens and melts the onions for a wonderful flavor.

3 -4 lb. beef chuck roast cut into 1 1/2 - 2 inch cubes
2 Tbl. olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 - 2 slices bacon, diced
1 bay leaf
1 12oz. can or bottle beer( your choice of brands)
chicken broth or stock
12 - 16 oz. mushrooms, left whole or halved if extremely large
salt and pepper
instant flour (Wondra) or a slurry made with 2-3 Tbl. flour mixed with water  to make a thin paste

1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 green onions, finely sliced for garnish (optional, but tasty!)

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown the beef cubes in the olive oil until dark and caramelized.  Do this in batches, otherwise the beef will steam and not brown. Remove the meat to a dish.  Add the diced bacon and then the onions and garlic after the bacon starts to render. Saute this mixture, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot until the onions soften and just begin to brown.
Season this mixture with a little salt and pepper and then add the meat with all the accumulated juices.  Add the beer, bay leaf, and enough chicken stock to just cover. Stir and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat becomes soft.
After two hours add the parsley and mushrooms and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.  Thicken with the instant flour or slurry. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over buttered noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes
Garnish each serving with the green onions if desired 

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