Beer is a highly underrated ingredient when it comes to cooking. It makes a great batter, it is awesome to braise meat in and it's pretty handy in a marinade/sauce. I'm talking about good beer. Real beer. Beer with depth of flavour and character. (The irony is that I'm writing this post after drinking my own body weight in Budweisier at last night's football. My word that stuff is average.)
Anyway, the other night I got my hands on some free range beef and threw together a little stew using the beer I was drinking. It was good. Like...reaaalllllly good. You should try it sometime.
Stuff you'll need to feed 2:
- A dark beer (I used the dark lager from &Union)
- A tin of tomatoes
- About 400g of free-range stewing beef, cubed
- A handful of chopped celery
- A teaspoon of coriander seeds, crushed
- A teaspoon of dried thyme
- A handful of parsley, chopped
- A handful of chopped carrot
- An onion, roughly chopped
- A handful of mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
- A few leaves of sage to garnish
- A cup of water
- A chilli, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- A tin of butter beans, drained (or your favourite beans)
Okay, what to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius. Brown your meat over a high heat in some olive oil. Remove and set aside.
2. Reduce heat and gently fry your onion, carrot and celery until soft. Add the mushrooms, chilli, herbs (except sage) and garlic and fry for an additional minute.
3. Add the tinned tomatoes, the beer and the water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer.
4. Cook in the oven for 2 hours. (If you can, cook it longer at a lower temperature. The longer the better)
5. About 30 minutes before serving, remove pot from oven and cook on the hob to reduce sauce to the desired consistency.
6. To serve, spoon beans into a bowl and pour on some beef and sauce. Garnish with sage.
You'll have to go a long way to find better comfort food than this. The beer is phenomenal in the sauce and plays a part in tenderising the meat. It is a healthy, hearty dinner and will impress anyone. Well...it should. If it doesn't (1) You're an idiot and you messed up or (2) They're an idiot and they should leave.