Friday, November 1, 2013

Beer Stew {#recipe #dairyfree} & Trick-or-Treating Recap

How was everyone's Halloween?  Did you have fun?  I can tell you that we certainly a lot of fun.  Portland weather can be - like probably everywhere else - hit or miss for trick-or-treating; sometimes it is too rainy but truth be said it never kept us inside :)  This was the first time, that the girls were allowed to dress-up for school...

                                     Please meet Mia Rose the Vampire and Alena the Witch

Trick-or-treating was oh so much fun; we stopped at a couple of very scary awesome houses in our neighborhood and the candy loot was huge.  Let's just say that there was no need to pull out the "exchange" candy.... Now I must  to tell you about our amazing neighbors;  many remembered either from last year, or from reading the article in the Oregonian earlier in the year that they girls cannot eat treats with dairy.  So you know what five of our amazing neighbors did?  They all had special treats just for our girls.  I have to tell you, that it made this mothership all teary eyed.  Thank you!

Now, what does any of this have to do with Beer Stew you ask?  Yes, the question is certainly appropriate...Beer Stew was our Halloween night dinner served on spooky Halloween pasta.  I got the Halloween pasta when I was shopping with Kati a few weeks back.  So Halloween night dinner was planned but for some reason we were not in the mood for ordinary pasta.  Good thing, that I pulled out a 1-1/2 lb. pack of beef stew from the freezer a day before and that is how Beer Stew came to life.  Plain and simple beef stew with carrots, and onions braised in  - you guessed it - a winter ale.  It was super easy, just brown the beef, quickly sauté the vegetables, pour in a bottle of beer, some water and place it in the oven for 1-1/2.  Easy, right? And super sure to use a rich, dark beer a Porter, Stout, or Winter Ale....

Beer Stew

  • 1-1/2 lb stew beef
  • 1/4 C flour
  • Pepper - Paprika {about 2 tsp. each}
  • Splash of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs Herbs de Provence
  • 2 large carrots cleaned and chopped in big pieces
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 12 oz {or larger} Winter Ale {I used Full Sail's Wassail}
  • 1 C Water {or more}
  • Salt
***Preheat oven to 350 F
  1. Combine pepper, paprika, and flour.
  2. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture until thoroughly covered
  3. Pour splash of olive oil into a dutch oven {I use cast iron} and when hot add the beef.  Brown beef from all sides and when nicely browned remove from pot with a slotted spoon. Set aside.
  4. Add another splash of olive oil and add the vegetables together with some salt.  Sauté until onions begin to soften and carrots/celery turns bright in color.
  5. Return beef to the pot, add the Herbs de Provence and season with additional pepper, and paprika.
  6. Pour beer into the pot; be sure to stir up all the bits and pieces from the pot.  Add at least one cup of water until everything is covered.  Bring to a simmer and cover when the stew is just about to boil.  Place covered pot in the oven.
  7. Check on the stew after 1 hr  to make sure there is enough liquid in the pot, you may have to add a little more.  Check again after 1-1/2 hrs - the beef should be flakey and the carrots soft. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  
Serve on pasta!  

I hope you enjoy this beer stew as much as we did...


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