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Beer Stew and Dumplings

4 pounds lean beef, cut into 1 x 2-inch slices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds large onions, thickly sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 small bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 10 1/2-ounce cans condensed beef broth
2 12-ounce bottles beer

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Coat beef strips with flour. Heat oil in a deep skillet and brown
strips a few at a time. Put them into a large (6- to 8-quart)
flameproof casserole. Set aside.

Add onions and garlic to oil in the skillet and brown them lightly,
adding a little more oil if necessary. Add them to the casserole,
then add sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, parsley, bay leaves, thyme,
salt and pepper. Stir once or twice to combine ingredients.

Pour off any oil remaining in the skillet. Add the broth and heat
over low heat, stirring to loosen all browned bits. Pour over the
meat mixture in the casserole. Add the beer.

Cover the casserole dish and bake for 2 hours. Take the casserole
out of the oven and place it on top of the stove. Stir in the
remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Remove bay leaf. Cook over medium
heat until the sauce bubbles.

Drop dumpling batter by heaping teaspoonfuls on top of the hot
stew, cover, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Do not remove
cover while cooking or the dumplings will not rise.


2 cups sifted self-rising cake flour
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix flour, milk and melted butter together. Drop the batter by
heaping teaspoonfuls on top of the hot stew. Cover and cook for 15

To achieve light, fluffy dumplings, there are two rules: Never
remove the lid while the dumplings are cooking (the steam escapes,
which causes the dumplings to boil, not steam), and do not let the
stew boil furiously.


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