Sunday, 29 April 2012

Beef Stew in Beer Broth and Mushrooms

It was a cold, rainy day near Vancouver and I was hankering for something comforting and warming. I made this beef stew with onions, mushrooms and sweet potatoes. In an hour and a half I had the perfect dinner for me and Big Pete.

You will need:
  • approx 1 pound of stewing beef
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 6-7 cloves garlic- chopped fine
  • 1 onion- chopped
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp dry porcini- powder (you can make this from dried porcini mushrooms)
  • 1 can beer
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp fresh red chili-chopped fine (my chili is medium hot add less if its hot hot!)
  • 1 tsp salt/pepper each
  • 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 sweet potato (don't call it a YAM-see the link to show how most people think a sweet potato is a yam )
  • 1 package sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter-room temp and 1 tbsp flour mixed
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
This is the perfect size for 2 people with leftovers for another lunch.

I guess that technically makes it the perfect dish for 3-4 people then. Huh?

Step 1: start with a good quality stewing beef. I buy from my favourite local butcher. 

Step 2: I like to chop up the meat into small chunks. Dry meat with paper towels. 

Step 3: coat meat in flour and pepper (add salt after its browned) The flour helps it stay dry to brown and also helps to thicken your sauce after.

Step 4: brown meat on med-high heat. Allow a separation of the meat and do not crowd so that meat will brown. I have the pan almost too full but, it did brown perfectly in then end. If you put too much meat in the pan it will steam and never fry to get brown. It may be necessary to do this in a few batches.  Remove meat from pan and set aside when done.

Step 5: turn down heat to medium and add onions. Scrape off the crunchy fond on the bottom of the pan. That is all flavour and your future sauce. Cook 3-4 minutes until just starting to brown.

Step 6: add a small amount of beer and scrape off all remaining bits on the bottom of pan. Then add remaining beer. 

Step 7: add garlic, chopped chilies, chili flakes, Italian seasoning, paprika, salt and porchini powder (I just take dried porchinis and make them into dust in a coffee grinder) Cook covered 1 hour on medium-low. Stir from time to time and add more water if it gets too dry (or you could also add more beer)

Step 8: after 1 hour add grated apple, sliced mushrooms and chopped sweet potato (you could also use a regular potato if you prefer. Cook for another 1/2 hour on a med/ low gentle simmer. Just let it blip away.

Step 9: After 1 1/2 hours of cooking mix 1 tbsp of butter with 1 tbsp flour and stir. Stir into your stew. Cook another 5 minutes. Taste it. Add salt and pepper if needed.

Step 10: top with parsley and serve in big bowls with crusty bread and an ice cold beer.

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