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Beer Braised Beef

MyCookbook Recipe Database
MyCookbook Member: MarthasArchive
Recipe Category: Beef
Recipe Preparation Level: moderate
    Turning a tough cut of meat into a hearty, succulent meal involves neither alchemy nor magic, only a couple of hours of slow simmering. Braising, as the process is called, can be done on top of the stove or, as with this recipe, in a Dutch oven, and most meats are perfectly eligible candidates for this type of cooking. Many recipes call for a simple stock or red wine—some even employ orange juice—which imparts a flavor to the meat and, in turn, thickens and reduces into the perfect accompanying sauce. This recipe uses Belgian-style ale, which enhances the simple, earthy taste of the beef and sautéed onions.

    BEER BRAISED BEEF
    Serves 6 to 8

    1/4 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
    3 pounds beef chuck, or round, cut into 1/2-inch slices
    Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
    2 large onions (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced
    2 12-ounce bottles ale (about 3 cups)
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    4 sprigs thyme
    3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
    3 bay leaves
    Boiled small new potatoes, for serving

    1. Adjust rack to bottom third of oven and heat to 325°. In a medium-large Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium-low heat until crisp, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet; set aside.

    2. Season beef with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons oil to pot, and raise heat to medium-high. Working in batches, brown meat, 1 to 2 minutes per side. As each batch is browned, transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

    3. If necessary, add remaining tablespoon oil. Lower heat to medium. Add onions and deglaze with about 2 tablespoons of the ale, scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over onions and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add remaining ale, and bring to a boil, scraping any remaining browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon.

    4. Tie thyme, parsley, and bay leaves in a bundle with a piece of kitchen twine. Add to onions. Return bacon and beef to pan, pushing beef down into liquid. (The liquid will not completely cover beef). Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until beef is fork tender, about 2 hours. Remove herb bundle, and discard. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve with boiled small new potatoes.


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