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.
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.
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.
Once browned, remove the stew meat to a paper towel lined plate to drain. This will make for a non-greasy stew.
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.
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.
While the aromatics are sauteing, chop four potatoes. I had some plain old russet potatoes on hand. Red potatoes would work nicely as well.
Once the aromatics are beginning to get tender, add the stew meat and potatoes in. Looks and smells fabulous already.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This stew requires no accompaniments. It will fill you and warm you to the core all on its own.