When we first married I depended heavily on McCormick’s Seasoning packets. That is the only way I made beef stew for YEARS! About 15 years ago I found a beef stew recipe in a church cookbook. That recipe was a little different from the one it has become today. However, just like this recipe the original stew recipe had a beer in it. Yep, you read that correctly, I got that recipe from a church cookbook. Some of you reading this may know that I’m a Baptist preacher’s daughter. Well, I can assure you that it was not in one of my beloved Baptist cookbooks. Now, I am not a beer drinker, nor have I ever been, but I do like to cook with it. It lends such a rich, wonderful flavor that you can’t get from anything else.
I found this interesting tidbit at food network.com…
“Why cook with beer? Beer adds a rich, earthy flavor to soups and stews that makes them taste like they’ve been simmering for hours. Beers with a sweet or nutty taste can add depth to desserts. And don’t worry about getting drunk – virtually all of the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process.”
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/holidays-and-parties/articles/cooking-with-beer.html?oc=linkback
Like I mentioned, the recipe has evolved over the years. I have slowly made it my own. At the suggestion of my friend, Melanie, I use chuck roast in this stew. I cut it into approximately 2-inch cubes a day or two before preparing the stew. Put the beef into a large ziplock bag, place the bag in a large bowl, then let the beef stand in the refrigerator at least 24 hours. When you are ready to prepare the stew, drain the meat and dry each piece using paper towels. I usually do this by lining a large sheet pan with paper towels, spread the beef in a single layer and then blot it dry with additional paper towels. At this point, I remove the paper towels and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and flour. Toss to coat on the pan. Then it’s time to start browning the beef.
This recipe makes a huge pot of stew. I make my stew in a 5-quart crock pot, and it is almost full. Skim off as much fat as possible before serving. After it has been refrigerated, you can remove the fat that rises to the top.
- 4 to 5 lb. beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
- vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- flour to coat
- 6 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered or cut smaller if using large potatoes
- 1 lg. onion, quartered
- 1 lb. mushrooms, optional
- 12-oz. amber beer
- 32-oz. beef broth
- 1 tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. hot sauce
- 4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Additional salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a large Dutch oven. Sprinkle beef cubes with salt and pepper, then coat with flour. Brown the beef in the Dutch oven. Work in batches and do not over crowd the pan. Add more oil when needed.
- Remove the beef from the Dutch oven and place into a large crock pot.
- Add the carrots, potatoes, onion, and mushrooms.
- Add the beer, beef broth, paprika, hot sauce, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 hours.