Basic Stew Recipe

I was sick last week and craving comfort food the entire time. One night I was craving stew so I broke out Jamie’s Food Revolution cookbook again and tried his basic stew recipe with my boyfriend’s favorite beer, Newcastle. Beef and beer really taste good cooked together. Here is his easy and delicious recipe.

A Note from Jamie;

“You are going to love this slow-cooked stew recipe, because it’s so simple and gives consistently good results. The meat should be cut into approximately 2cm cubes. Packs from most supermarkets are normally about that size. In stew recipes, you’re often told to brown off the meat first. But I’ve done loads of tests and found the meat is just as delicious and tender without browning it first, so I’ve removed this stage from the recipe.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaped Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 pnd diced stewing beef
  • 2 cups brown ale, Guiness or stout

Directions:

If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 350ºF. Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice length ways and roughly chop.

Put a casserole pan on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes. Add your meat and flour. Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper.

Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious. Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper. You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it.

Beer Braised Beef with Onion Dumplings

I have so many cookbook and not enough time to try every recipe. I bought the cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook recently. This is the first recipe I tried from it. It was yummy but I felt it was a little too sweet because of the allspice and cloves. I would recommend a slight reduce on these spices if you don’t want it tasting too sweet. I also omitted the dill from the dumplings because I have not found a taste for dill in recipes yet. The dumplings and the braised beef with beer is delicious.

Beer Braised Beef

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless chuck (fatty rather than lean), cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds onions, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pounds carrots, thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 bottle (12ozs) dark beer
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp salt

Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh dill
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fine fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 5-7 quart Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan, heat 2 Tbs of the oil over medium-high heat. Dredge the beef in the flour, shaking off the excess. Working in batches (this is so the meat browns, rather than steams), cook the meat until browned all over, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the meat to a bowl.

Add the remaining 2 Tbs oil to the pan along with the onions, carrots, and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the thyme, allspice, cloves, beer, tomato paste, salt, and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Return the meat to the pan. Cover and place in the oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is tender. Place the pan on the stove top.

Dumplings:

In a small skillet, heat 1 tbs of the melted butter. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the buttermilk, dill, and 2 tbs of the melted butter. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture. Stir the dumpling mixture gently until moistened.

In a shallow bowl, stir the remaining 3 tbs melted butter into the bread crumbs. One at a time, drop the dumpling mixture by rounded tablespoon into the crumb mixture and turn to coat. Drop the dumplings onto the simmering stew, spacing them evenly. Cover the pan and simmer the stew until the dumplings are tender and cooked through, about 20 minutes.