I couldn’t help but share this recipe with you all. It is probably my favorite thing to make during the winter months (except for an Imperial stout, obviously) and even as I write this I am saddened by the lack of stew in front of me. It is hearty, rich, healthy, and super simple to make once you know how. As long as you’re using quality ingredients there is very little that can go wrong, making this dish perfect for beginners and pros alike. You can also play around with different variations in taste with ease just by changing the ale you add in to make your stock!
Trust me - when you take that first bite and the meat melts in your mouth you will quickly add this delicious recipe to your regular repertoire. Be prepared though - what this recipe lacks in required knowledge, it makes up for in waiting time. Be patient though, as those three hours of stewing are what makes this dish a winner.
Prep time: 15-20 mins
Cook time: 3 hours (worth it!)
Feeds: 4 Large, or 6 Medium Bowls
- 5 quart (5 liters) Stockpot or Casserole Dish
- Frying pan
- Chopping board & knife
- 1.1 pounds (500g) quality diced stewing beef
- 16floz (500 ml) ale of your choice. (A good porter or stout does the trick)
- 4 sticks of celery
- 2 medium onions
- 6 medium carrots (of many colors)
- 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 2 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- 1 regular tin of diced plum tomatoes
- A few generous splashes of olive oil
The MethodSTEP ONE: Coat the meat in the flour, then fry in a pan with olive oil at a low heat for 5 mins to seal the beef and get the juices mixed in with the flour.
STEP TWO: Peel the carrots of many colors, then chop into rough chunks. Trim and chop up the celery, then dice the onion into thick sections.
STEP THREE: Add 2 generous dollops (about 2-3 tablespoons) of oil to your stockpot/casserole dish and set the stovetop to medium heat, add all of your vegetables and the bay leaves, then fry for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally.
STEP FOUR: Add in the beef, flour, and all the juices from your frying pan, then pour in your ale and the tomatoes (including all of the juices). Stir it well, then add a healthy pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
STEP FIVE: Bring it to the boil, give it another quick stir, then add the lid and adjust the heat to a simmer. Leave it on the stove top for 3 hours, or until the meat breaks apart really easily, making sure to stir every 30-40 mins. Take the lid off for the final half hour of simmering.
STEP SIX: Remove the bay leaves and season with more salt and pepper if you feel it is needed, then serve! I recommend serving with a hearty loaf - baked in the oven if you can.
An old brown ale, stout or even imperial stout would pair nicely with this beef and ale stew as the roast malts in the beer and other complex malt characters will work perfectly with the rich flavors and texture of the stew. Want to keep it simple? Good old Guinness will always do the trick!
For a bit of fun, you could buy an extra couple of bottles of the beer you used to create your stock and pair it with that! It will be sure to work well and creates a fun narrative for whoever you decide to share the stew with (IF you even share the stew. Trust me. It’s very good, and I wouldn’t judge.)
And there you have it. My beef and ale stew. If you like this recipe, share it with a friend! I will be adding new ‘cooking with beer’ recipes each month - so keep checking back. Enjoy!