Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Beef Carbonnade (Beef and Beer Stew)

Soups and stews are among our favorite things to prepare, and a byproduct is that leftovers are generally better the following day as the flavors meld even further overnight. Should I ask my husband what he would like for dinner that I haven't fixed in awhile, on many occasions he will say how about a pot roast

Several months ago rather than a regular pot roast, I made a beef carbonnade that was absolutely delish! A thick stew of beef, onions, herbs… cooked in our own dark beer_ a porter, and with fresh vegetables. And to be certain I still knew how, this for last night's dinner...

Beef Carbonnade (Beef and Beer Stew)  from Diana's kitchen 

4- 4 ½ lb beef (local grass-fed chuck roast), cut into 2″ cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
14 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon paprika
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 TB unsalted butter
2 TB bacon fat (from 3-4 slices bacon)
1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer
1 cup beef stock
2 TB molasses 
2 TB organic apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh tarragon, chopped (optional)
3 bay leaves
Add carrots, potatoes, parsnips, mushrooms…  

Dry the beef with paper towels. In a paper or plastic bag, mix flour, paprika, half teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Add the meat and toss to coat evenly. Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on both sides and uncrowded in small batches, about 6-8 minutes.

Transfer the beef to a plate and set aside. 

Add the bacon fat and onion and cook until caramelized_ 20-30 minutes. Add the garlic, stir to combine, and cook another minute.

Add the beer and scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate the fond. Add the beef stock, molasses, vinegar and herbs, and then the beef. Bring it all to a simmer on the stove. Cover the pot with the lid, slightly offset. Bake until beef is tender_ 2 1/2 - 3 hours at 325 F.

(Note: at this point it can be refrigerated overnight once all has cooled to room temperature. Any excess fat will be solidified and easily removed for a healthier meal. Simply reheat the next day and continue.)

Add the vegetables, combine and bake uncovered for another 40-45 minutes until they are tender. Remove the thyme and bay leaf.

Serve with a nice crusty bread just in case you like to sop up any of the delicious sauce remaining on your plate.

(Oxford Dictionary: Mid 17th century (denoting a piece of meat or fish cooked on hot coals): from French, from Latin carbo, carbon- 'coal, charcoal'.)