Home > Food, Recipe > Simple Recipes: Beer Braised Beef Stew

Simple Recipes: Beer Braised Beef Stew

December 13, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

What defines the simplicity of the recipe? For me, it is the limited number of ingredients, and ease of the cooking process. For instance, I would never designate my beloved traditional cassoulet as a simple recipe – it takes about 24 hours to make and the list of ingredients is a page long.

The recipe I would like to share today fit the simplicity bill quite well. It has only 3 ingredients (or four, if you would consider garlic as a separate ingredient), and the cooking process is quite simple (but you do spend a bit of the time prepping). As this is a beef stew, you can even reduce the list of ingredients down to two – the beef stew for me must have beef (huh, really?) and onions – everything else is a bonus.

Today’s dish is a beer braised beef stew, which includes onions, garlic and Sicilian eggplant. There is no any particular reason whatsoever to include the Sicilian eggplant into this dish, except that I was in the store, the eggplant looked very good and wanted to buy it, and then I had to actually do something with it.

Below is the recipe, and then I will give you step by step guide with pictures – for no other reason that I like to take food pictures. Here we go.

Beer Braised Beef Stew Recipe

Total time – about 3 hours. Prep time: 40-50 minutes, Cooking time: 2 hours

5 lb of beef – you can use any cut. If you will use a very lean cut, you might have to increase the cooking time until meat is tender

4 medium onions

half a cup of garlic (adjust to your liking)

1 Sicilian eggplant (replace with any other eggplant or skip altogether)

1 can/bottle of beer, 330 oz – you can use any beer, but I would suggest that it should have some intensity to it – lager is good, porter is good too.

Olive oil (any oil you use for frying)

1 teaspoon of Smoked Paprika

Salt, Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of the Kosher Salt or any other large grain salt

You initial step includes a bit of slicing and dicing. You will need to peel and slice the onions:

onionsYep, crying is part of it:

sliced onionsWhile you are at it, you can also slice the Sicilian eggplant:

sicilian aggplantSlice it into the small cubes, put into a bowl, add the kosher salt, mix together and let it stand for 15-20 minutes. The salt will make the eggplant to lose some of the water, so it will be a bit faster at cooking.

sicilian eggplant

Prepare the garlic – you can use the whole cloves, only break them slightly with the knife:

garlicAdd olive oil to the pan, put it up at the medium heat, and start sauteing the onions with garlic, turning them periodically, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onion gains color and becomes soft and translucent:

sauteed onion

In parallel, you should start searing the meat. I’m using here a beef stew cut from the store – of course you can cut the piece of beef on your own. We need to sear the meat to get rid of all the unnecessary liquid and to gain the nice color. From here on, I’m using my favorite cooking vessel, the enameled cast iron casserole. To sear the meat, you will need to add oil and then put on the high heat – how high the heat should be depends on your stove. I have an electric stove, and if I will heat up the cast iron on the highest setting, the food will burn before it will sear, so I have to adjust it accordingly – but you do need high heat for searing.

beefYou can add salt, pepper and smoked paprika, and continue searing for about 15-20 minutes, turning once:

seared beefAnd now, it is the beer time! Well, you can take a sip, if you want, but remember, you need this beer for cooking:

session beerAt this point ( we are at about 20 minutes into our cooking process), the onions should be ready the meat is seared, so you can first pour the beer into the casserole dish, and use it as a deglazing agent. Add onions to the meat, reduce heat to medium, cover casserole with the lid and let it be.

Add olive oil to the pan which is now freed up, put the eggplant and saute for about 15-20 minutes, or until it softens up and gains color:

roasted sicilian aggplantAdd the eggplant to the casserole, replace the lid and let it cook for about two hours or until the beef is tender, stirring periodically.

And you are done! Your dish should look similar to this:

beef stewBeef stew works well with lots of starch options. Serve over (or with) boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, rice, pasta, buckwheat – anything your heart desires.

That concludes our picture presentation of the recipe. I hope you will find this dish easy enough to make, and if you will end up making it or have done something similar before – let me know. Until the next time – cheers!

  1. December 13, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I think the eggplant is a brilliant addition!

    • talkavino
      December 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Thank you! It was not long planned in advance, I just had to find some use for it : )

  2. Emil
    December 13, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Looks yummy. 😛 Kind of like a light Carbonade…

    • talkavino
      December 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks! Definitely Carbonnade-inspired : )

  3. December 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    It’s been in the teens here all week. I’m going to try this tomorrow!

  4. PSsquared
    December 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    That sounds easy enough even for me! I may try it this weekend. Cheers!

    • talkavino
      December 14, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      If you will make it, let me know if you like it!

  5. December 13, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Thats the way to make beef stew, I love using beer in place of wine and the eggplant is wonderful in the stew.

    • talkavino
      December 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      It all worked together very nicely!

  6. December 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    looks delicious! Is that snowflakes I see falling on your recipe?

    • talkavino
      December 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      Thank you! Yes, this should be the snowflakes. You can turn it on in the general settings for your blog, it will be on until January 4th

  7. December 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I’m drooling again. It’s not fair for me to read your posts as I have been living in a hotel for a month and eating the same junk every day. I return home this weekend and am looking forward to this dish, cheers…

    • talkavino
      December 14, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      sorry to hear that! Hope coming home, together with this dish will cheer you up!

  8. December 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Believe it or not, but I use beer in place of wine for my Bolognese Sauce and I always get rave reviews. Cooking is a great place to experiment.

    • talkavino
      December 15, 2013 at 8:09 am

      I believe it : ) Beer imparts whole different flavor profile, so I easily can see how you can create the new recipe just by replacing wine with beer. Having said that, I’m off to work on my Beef Bourguignon dish for tonight’s dinner : )

  9. December 26, 2013 at 11:16 am

    This looks fabulous! Would zucchini work for the eggplant? I am sure the beer provides a depth of flavor and some fermentation to the dish, too. 😉 I am very happy to save my wine and use my husband’s microbrew instead. 🙂 What wine did you drink with this lovely dish? Best- Shanna

    • talkavino
      December 26, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Thanks, Shanna! I’m not sure about zucchini – it will work, but generally the water content is much higher in zucchini compare to eggplant – I would roast zucchini well before adding to this dish.
      For the wine, you will have to go middle of the road flavor wise – I’m thinking Cote du Rhone, Rioja or nice Chianti. You want the wine with earthy profile here and nice soft fruit. By the way, if you want unconventional pairing, you can try a white Marsanne, served at the room temperature – I didn’t do it myself, but I think it might work together. Cheers!

      • December 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

        I love roasting any vegetable – nice call. Yes, I shall try that. No Cote du Rhone at the moment, but LOTS of Rioja on hand! 🙂 A white Marsanne sounds quite intriguing. Nice idea! Cheers – SHanna

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