Monthly Archives: February 2013

Home Brew Beef Stew

That’s right, I said home-brew! I am fortunate enough to have a hubby who brews his own beer and mead. This recipe includes one of his home-brewed beers and I was very pleased with the flavor it provided. In the bitter cold of winter, nothing warms me up quite like a good stew.

Home Brew Beef Stew 1

Start by coating one pound or so of stew meat in seasoned flour. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika. Whatever seasonings you want to include will work though.

Home Brew Beef Stew 2

Next, in batches, brown the meat over medium-high heat right in the dutch oven you will use to build the stew. The browned bits left behind will provide another layer of flavor.

Home Brew Beef Stew 3

Once browned, remove the stew meat to a paper towel lined plate to drain. This will make for a non-greasy stew.

Home Brew Beef Stew 4

While the stew meat is browning, prepare all of the aromatics. Peel ten cloves of garlic and leave whole. Rough chop two onions, two parsnips, two carrots and two celery stalks. I include the leaves from the celery stalks as well.

Home Brew Beef Stew 5

Once all of the stew meat is browned and resting, start sauteing the aromatics. Saute until they begin to get tender. At this point grate in the garlic using a microplane or garlic press.

Home Brew Beef Stew 6

While the aromatics are sauteing, chop four potatoes. I had some plain old russet potatoes on hand. Red potatoes would work nicely as well.

Home Brew Beef Stew 7

Once the aromatics are beginning to get tender, add the stew meat and potatoes in. Looks and smells fabulous already.

Home Brew Beef Stew 9

This is where the home-brew comes in. Of my choices in the pantry, I decided to use on of my hubby’s Everyday IPAs. Everyday IPA is a moderately hoppy IPA. Perfect for in my stew. If you are not lucky enough to have a hubby who brews his own beer, twelve ounces of your favorite beer will work.

Home Brew Beef Stew 8

Pour the beer into the stew and stir well. Take a moment to admire the beautiful caramel color and the bubbles the beer brings to the stew. Be sure to scrap all the lovely brown bits off the bottom of the pot. They will add an incredible depth of flavor.

Home Brew Beef Stew 10

At this point, add in thirty-two ounces of beef stock, a handful of bay leaves, thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Home Brew Beef Stew 11

Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the stew to simmer for several hours until the vegetables are all tender and the meat falls apart in your mouth. Stir occasionally.

Home Brew Beef Stew 12

After several hours of simmering, the stew will thicken considerably and become a beautiful deep brown. The house will smell amazing as well. This is how you know the stew is done.

Home Brew Beef Stew 13

This stew requires no accompaniments. It will fill you and warm you to the core all on its own.

Yesterday’s smashed potatoes? Today’s potato pancakes!

I love do-overs. In this context, when I say do-overs, I mean taking one day’s leftovers and creating a completely different meal with them. Anyone can heat leftovers up in the microwave. A do-over takes some real thinking though.

These potato pancakes are one of my favorite do-overs by far. One morning, I was scrounging through the fridge looking for something to eat for breakfast and this recipe was born.

Potato Pancakes 1

Start with leftover smashed potatoes. Of course, ours are dairy free. Maybe about two cups worth. If you have more and want more pancakes, just up the rest of the ingredients as well.

Potato Pancakes 2

Next I chopped up half of a white onion and half a poblano pepper for a little zip. You could switch this up by adding scallions, chives, any type of pepper, or red onion.

Potato Pancakes 3

In a large mixing bowl, to the smashed potatoes add: one large egg, three-quarters cup of flour, one-quarter cup of non-dairy cheddar cheese, the chopped onion and poblano, salt and pepper. To make these vegan, you could use a tablespoon or so of canola oil to replace the egg.

Potato Pancakes 4

Mix until well combined and they no longer stick fast to your hands. If needed, add more flour.

Potato Pancakes 5

Take a meatball size amount of the potato mixture and form pancakes. As you can see, this recipe made six decent sized pancakes.

Potato Pancakes 6

While getting the pancakes ready, my favorite cast iron skillet was on the stove. Heating in the skillet, over medium heat, is a small amount of canola oil. I like canola for this because it doesn’t change the taste of the potato pancakes.

Potato Pancakes 7

Drop the pancakes carefully into the skillet. Don’t cramp the skillet! If you do the pancakes will be greasy. In my nine-inch skillet I fried up three at a time.

Potato Pancakes 8

Once you drop them into the skillet do not move them for three minutes! Allow the pancakes to get nice and browned and then flip.

Potato Pancakes 9

After cooking an additional three minutes remove the potato pancakes to a paper towel lined plate while you cook up the remaining three. This will absorb any of the excess oil.

Potato Pancakes 10

These would be delicious and flavorful if you stopped and ate them right here! You could also add some sour cream and it would be like eating a crispy loaded baked potato.

Potato Pancakes 11

For me? Sriracha is the perfect topping! Gives them a little additional kick and also makes for a nice plate. No need to wonder what to do with those leftover smashed potatoes anymore.

One year Blog-versary!


This week was my one year blog-versary. One year ago, several good friends finally convinced me to start blogging my recipes and thoughts on food. It had actually taken them a couple of years to convince me, but one year ago I actually did it.

Thanks to all of you who are following me here or watch for new posts on Facebook I am loving it! I honestly wasn’t sure anyone would have any interest in what I had to say when I started this. Now, when we have a good meal, my husband asks if I plan to blog it. When I post pictures on Facebook of what we have had for breakfast, lunch, or dinner I now get requests! It amazes me!

I’m not going to continue to ramble on, but wanted to take a moment to say thanks to everyone who follows me, comments, or even just reads my blog occasionally. I appreciate every single one of you!

Mrs. Twinkle

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