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LOCATION: Recipes >> Beef Veal >> Beer Beef Stew 05

Print this Recipe    Beer Beef Stew 05

2.5 lbs beef (chuck roast) and/or lamb (shoulder) - the tougher, fattier
cuts of meat are fine, as they will become tender through long cooking
4-6 medium potatoes (about 2.5 lbs)
4-6 large carrots (about 1 lb)
3 Tbsp bacon fat or lard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp tarragon
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tsp gumbo file
1 can (14.9 oz) Guinness (pub draught style)


Cut the meat into large chunks (about 1.5 or 2 inches on a side).
Put some flour (1/4 cup or so should do it) in a bowl, add the
meat, and toss until coated. Do not bother to shake off excess
flour. In a deep cast-iron stewpot, heat bacon fat on high until
it sputters when you drip water on it. For those of you who can't
bear using animal fat, 2 Tbsp of your favorite oil should work
fine. When hot, drop meat into stewpot and brown thoroughly on
high heat. Be attentive here and stir the meat often until all
sides are browned. Add 1 cup of the Guinness and the Worcestershire
sauce. Let it simmer a couple minutes until flavor and aroma have
developed, scraping any brown bits up from the pan bottom and sides.
Add 1 cup water, herbs and spices (except file), and remaining
Guinness. Let simmer on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes. While
it simmers, wash potatoes and cut into large chunks (perhaps 6
chunks per potato, and yes they really should be that big). And
don't peel them - it's sacrilegious.

Wash (don't peel) the carrots, and cut them into long pieces (2
inches or so). Add potatoes and carrots to stew. Add enough water
to almost cover everything, cover and cook over medium heat for at
least an hour, preferably two. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking
or burning. When you stir, use a fork. Break a few of the potatoes
up as you do, mixing them back into the broth. This will result
in a much thicker, heartier stew. You may also adjust the thickness
to your preference with water or flour, depending on how you like
it. About 15 minutes before serving, add 1/2 tsp of the gumbo
file, turn off heat and let the stew stand to thicken (don't worry,
the cast iron pot will keep it plenty warm). The file is a good
thickener, so if your stew is too thin, add the full teaspoon.
During dinner, leave the pot covered in a warm (but turned-off)
oven or on a burner over the lowest possible heat. This will keep
it warm when people go back for seconds (and they will). Serve
with Guinness, bread (for sopping up afterwards), and plenty of
salt. Seal and refrigerate any uneaten stew. To reheat, add a
little water and simmer until thoroughly warmed. This stew loses
absolutely nothing by being around for a couple of days.

Variations: This is a very rich and flavorful stew as is, and really
does not need the additional flavors of garlic or onion common in
most stews. However, for people who must have them, one large
yellow onion (diced) can be added in the last few minutes of the
browning of the meat, but be careful not to burn it. Garlic should
be crushed or minced and added along with the spices. Other common
additions include peas, celery, parsley, and other vegetables.
Just do what feels right ;) Enjoy!


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