Beer Bread and Beef Stew with Hearty Broth (and yes, beer in it)

Ok. So, remember how just yesterday I wrote a whole post about how I get so tired of winter dishes? The kale salad solution apparently cured me of that so much that today I came home and made the heartiest of winter soups, with warm, fresh bread to go along with it.

The beer bread is from Gerald Norman on Food.com, and I didn't change the recipe one bit. It turned out phenomenally, and went unbelievably perfectly with the soup.

Beef Stew 
(loosely adapted from Mark Bittman)

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed but kept whole
  • 2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1" cubes
  • 3 onions, diced
  • 3 tbs flour
  • 4 1/2 - 5 c veggie or beef broth (though it's up to you how thin or thick you want your soup, and how much broth)
  • 1 12 oz. bottle of beer (however much of it you want to put in)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 medium potatoes, diced
  • any chopped veggies you want to put in (I used a carrot or two and some chopped green peppers that I froze from the market last summer)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Sauté the garlic clove in the oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven. Add the stew beef and cook for ~10 minutes or until it's cooked and pink in the middle. While it's cooking, add salt and pepper. Remove the garlic clove and beef from the pan, but keep the juices in the bottom. Sauté the onions in the juices until transparent and slightly browned. Add the flour and cook for two minutes, then add the broth, beer, meat and seasonings. Adjust all the seasonings to taste--you're the one who's going to eat it!

Let it come to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let cook uncovered for 30 min. Add the potatoes and veggies, and let come to a boil again. Turn the heat down, cover, and let simmer for anywhere from an hour to two or three (the meat will get more tender and the flavors will meld with longer cooking time, but I got hungry....).  Serve with beer bread and parmesan if you desire.

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