Saturday, December 09, 2006

Beef - cheap cuts

For me a good stew is the ultimate food during the winter. And to prepare one, you can settle for the cheaper cuts of beef. The cheaper cuts have more fat, and have to be boiled for a long time. After 3-4 hours, however, the once tough meat is tender and moist. Saturday I am expecting a friend for dinner, and I have decided to prepare a classic meal for the cold season.

In France they use red wine in their preparation of their famous Boeuf Bourgognion, and in Belgium they make their stews adding strong dark beer. Stout like Guinness or Caffreys are also great to use. I use ordinary lager. In these stews it is vital to use enough sugar to balance up the saltness and the bitterness from the beverages added.

Beef stew with beer

To prepare this you need the following ingredients

2 fluid oz / 50 cl olive oil
2 lbs / 900 grs of cheap beef cuts, diced roughly
2 small onions, sliced
2 small tomatoes, diced
One stalk of celery, sliced
1-2 tbsp flour
6 oz / 150 grs of mushrooms, sliced
1 pt / 500 cl of lager
1 pt / 500 cl of water
2 stock cubes
3-4 teaspoons of sugar
Dried herbs (thyme, parsley, bay leaf, etc.)
6 fluid oz / 150 cl single cream

Heat the oil, brown the diced meats in 4-5 portions in the hot oil. Remove meat from pot. Brown onions, celery, mushrooms and tomatoes, the stir in flour properly to avoid lumps. Then add meat. Add the lager, water, sugar and stock cubes, and leave to boil for two hours.

Remove meat from pot. Place vegetables and remaining stock in blender and blend until smooth. Then pour the sauce back into pot, Add cream, and boil for another hour. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

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