Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Home Lure: Beef and Dark Ale Stew

What do I do when my husband is working long hours, and I want to inspire him to spend some more time kissing this face? I go all out. All out means bringing him slippers, spending hours making supper, the bringing of the tea, and plenty of the flicking of the hair.

I've made this stew twice now. The first time strictly according to the recipe, and the second I implemented my go-to rule: add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and cook for longer than prescribed. It worked like a charm. Last time Ralph went nuts for it, but this time I definitely did too. There is just nothing better than a home made stew on a cold night. I think the dark ale went a long way towards enriching the flavour and ensuring the tenderness of the meat.

Beef and Dark Ale Stew
Adapted from Ms. Buena Vida

1 kg chuck beef
1 onion
3 medium carrots
3 medium potatoes
1 bottle dark ale (less than 500 ml)
1 can chopped tomatoes, drained of excess juice
1 cup tomato juice
1 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves

1) Clean all fat and sinews off beef and chop to pieces. Chop up the onion.
2) Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a cast iron pot.
3) Add the onion to the oil, and fry until softened.
4) Add the beef, and brown. Don't worry about caramelised bits clinging to the pan. These make the stew tastier.
5) While the beef is browning, peel and chop up the carrots and potatoes into bit size pieces.
6) Once the beef is browned, season generously. Then add the carrots, potatoes, ale, tomatoes, tomato juice, beef stock and bay leaves.
7) Set up to simmer for at least 2 hours. Can add hot water if it gets too dry. Taste continually and correct seasoning.
8) Serve to people you like only.

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