Today I decided to make some flemish beef stew. I found a recipe online that was very well reviewed, walked to the store with a grocery list, and came home and started cooking. I looked over several recipes to try to gauge what kind of beer would be most authentic, and the general consensus was that I needed to use something strong, bold, and dark, but not a stout. I chose St. Bernardus 12. The recipe is as follows:
- 3 slices bacon, diced (I used 4!)
- 3 large onions, halved and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 pounds lean stew beef cut in 1-inch cubes (I used 3 pounds, I don't want anyone askin' "where's the beef?!?")
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 bottle dark beer (12 ounce) (I used a lot more beer since I used extra beef, PLUS a bag of baby yukon golds, about 20 ounces of St. Bernardus 12, plus I used half a Jubelale 09 to get the brown stuff out of the pan and into the crock)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Preparation:Cook bacon until crisp then transfer to paper towels and set aside. Add onions to drippings and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle brown sugar over onions, increase heat to medium high, and cook until onions are golden brown, about 7 or 8 minutes.. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Transfer onion mixture to the slow cooker.
Sprinkle beef with the flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef on all sides. Transfer browned meat to the slow cooker. Add beer to the skillet the beef was cooked in and scrape up the browned bits. Transfer the beer from the skillet to the slow cooker along with the reserved bacon and thyme. Mix all ingredients together.Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until meat is tender.
I've got this stuff slow cooking over night. I'm going to cook it on low for about 10 hours, then throw the whole thing into the fridge for a day or two to really let the flavors develop, and then I'll re-heat it in the slow cooker and serve it with some good belgian quads. Should be awesome.