As a bit of light relief from home brewing, here’s a recipe for a tasty beef stew with stout.
One of the great things about beer is that it makes a very good base for gravy. This stew takes advantage of that, building up a rich and flavoursome sauce around a bottle of home brewed stout.
I cooked this many times before more or less settling on the recipe below.
Each time it’s different so don’t view the recipe as set in stone.
Stew is a dish that’s perfect for customisation so I encourage you to add, take away or substitute vegetables according to your taste.
Most dark beers make a good base. Bitters, porters and anything similar all make interesting variations on the basic dish.
Recipe For Beef Stew With Stout
500g stewing steak
1 medium carrot
2 or 3 sticks of celery
a couple of bay leaves if you have them
knob of butter
thyme leaves, a good sprinkling
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500ml good quality vegetable stock
300ml oatmeal stout
Chop the onions and carrots.
I like to include a mix of large and small onion pieces to build texture into the stew.
More or less cover the bottom of your pan with olive oil, add the butter and heat on a medium hob.
Add the meat and brown. Make sure it’s one layer deep, doing it in batches if necessary.
(If you’re short on time skip this step and add the meat directly after you’ve softened the vegetables.)
Then add the onions and carrots (and a bit more oil if it’s dried up).
Depending on the size of the pan, you may need to remove the beef for this stage so that the onion fries, browns and softens on the bottom of the pan.
After about five minutes add the celery and leave for another five minutes.
At this point put the meat back, and add the thyme and bay leaves.
Add salt and black pepper to taste.
Pour your home brewed stout into a glass. You don’t want to add the sediment to the stew.
Pour it into the pot and let it bubble a little. Add the stock.
Chop the tomatoes. Again, I prefer a mix of large and small pieces but it’s up to you.
Toss them into the pot and stir.
Bring to a simmer, half cover and leave bubbling for an hour and half. Stir every now and again.
Then throw in a handful of dried white corn.
Leave for another hour and a half.
At this point the meat should be tender and ready to eat. Try a bit and leave longer if necessary.
Serve with potatoes…
Like beer the stew benefits from ageing.
Leaving it in the pot for twenty four hours before eating gives the flavours time to combine and harmonise into a rich and tasty meal.
Give it a try – I hope you like it.