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Posts Tagged ‘Beer’

Beef stew.  With Belgian beer.  Need I say more?  Probably not, but since I’m verbose, I will.  This is a really good beef stew recipe.  It’s a classic Belgian dish.  I’m sure it’s particularly delicious with frites, but I’m not quite that ambitious, so I served it with bread.  The person who recommended the recipe to me suggested I add in a couple diced, peeled apples.  Which I did, and which is what made it extra awesome.  So, I suggest you do the same.  The apples and the onions break down into a rich, thick brown sauce, that’s sweet and savory.  For beer, use a good Belgian brown ale.  I used Moinette Bruin, above, but Leffe Bruin would also work.

Carbonade Flamandes
Recipe from this website

Ingredients
4 pounds boneless stew meat,
such as chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I used olive oil)
3 large onions (about 2 pounds), thinly sliced
2 bottles (12 ounces each) Belgian beer
2 or 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 tablespoons red currant jelly (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon cider or red wine vinegar
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and diced into 1 inch chunks (optional, but highly recommended)

Directions

Season the beef cubes with the salt and pepper and dredge with the flour. Shake off any excess.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a large dutch oven or heavy, oven-proof pan over high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add the beef cubes and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Work in batches so as not to crowd the beef cubes, or they will steam instead of sauté.  Add additional oil or butter if necessary.  Once browned, set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter or oil to the skillet and melt over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes.  If necessary, raise the heat toward the end of the cooking time.  It is important to brown the meat and the onions evenly to give the stew its deep brown color.  The trick is to stir the onions just enough to avoid burning the but not so often as to interrupt the browning process.

Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits.  Add the beef back to the pan as well as the apples and bring to a boil.  Add the thyme and bay leaves.

The recipe recommended simmering covered, over low heat until the meat is very tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  I did this and it was fine, but if I do it again, I’d put it in the oven at, say 325, for longer – three or four hours.  It’s really going to depend on the meat used, but I think mine was a bit tougher.  Before serving, stir in the red currant jelly or brown sugar and vinegar; simmer for 5 minutes.   Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve, preferably with more beer.

 

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Easy Stuff

I occassionally take on some pretty nutty baking projects that leave me exhausted, so I think that my idea of what is considered “easy” might give some people a coronary.  I insisted to a friend that these scones were easy, and I think she was cursing me while trying to figure out how to disperse the butter through the dough.

But, I think this recipe here is objectively easy.  One bowl, 6 ingredients, and it takes about 2 minutes to mix it all up.  And, if you are the type of person who keeps beer in their fridge at all times, you probably won’t even need to go to the store for ingredients to do this.

I got the recipe from the blog Ezra Pound Cake, who kindly gave me permission to publish it here.  There are lots of other beer bread recipes out there, but the simplicity of this one really made it sound appealling.  I think any kind of beer would work.  I used a Pumpkin Ale, which made the bread smell like pumpkin, though I wouldn’t say it tasted particularly pumpkiny.  Maybe next time, I’ll add a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon just to bring that flavor out a little more.

It’s fabulous warm out of the oven, with a bit of butter or nothing at all.

Beer Bread
From Rebecca Crump at ezrapoundcake.com
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bottle (12 ounces) beer
1/4 to 1/2 cup  unsalted butter, melted (I used 1/4 cup and didn’t find it lacking in buttery goodness)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-x-5-x-3-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

Using a wooden spoon, stir the beer into the dry ingredients until just mixed.

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It should take just a minute to come together.  The batter will be very sticky.

Pour half the melted butter into the loaf pan.   Then spoon the batter into the pan, and pour the rest of the butter on top of the batter.   It’ll be too sticky to get it to lay flat and smooth.  Just try to make sure it’s mostly evenly distributed in the pan so it bakes evenly. 

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Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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