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Steak and Ale Stew

A little while ago I had a beautiful Steak & Ale stew and decided that I should try and make my own version. After putting the above picture online and ranting on about how much I loved it I had four different people ask for the recipe. I’m not very good with recipes I have made up myself, being more of a throw-it-in-without-measuring kind of gal but this is pretty much what I did.

Ingredients:
500g stewing steak (Mine was pre-cut into 2 inch square cubes-ish and worked well but whole would be fine)
500ml ale
350ml beef stock
10 shallots peeled but whole/2 onions peeled and cut into quarters
1 large carrot cut in half
1 large parsnip cut into 8 with centre removed
1 tsp roasted garlic/2 cloves crushed fresh garlic
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp tamari/soy sauce
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Pepper

Recipe:
Marinade the beef in the ale with some pepper for a couple of hours and then remove the beef.
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C
Add the garlic and ale to a heavy casserole dish and boil rapidly to burn off some of the alcohol and reduce the liquid a little, after a couple of minutes add the sugar, tamari and balsamic vinegar and keep simmering for a few more minutes.
Add the meat, shallots, carrot, parsnip and stock to the ale and cover with a lid/foil.
Cook in the oven for 3 hours.
Remove from the oven, stir and turn the heat up to 160°C. Replace in the oven uncovered for another hour.
Once cooked I removed the steak and veggies and put the casserole dish with the sauce in over a very high heat to boil on the hob to let it reduce down to a thicker gravy – purely a matter of taste here as to how much you want to reduce the liquid.

Notes:
Very heavily adaptable recipe, change the veg or flavourings, add cumin or cayenne for heat, ignore the sugar, increase the garlic – really, anything goes.
I don’t believe in browning meat before putting it into a stew, it’s messy and it never seems to add anything to a dish, if you’re a fan I wouldn’t add flour though and try to use very little fat as it will make the dish too oily.
I don’t really drink alcohol and so my knowledge of ale is woeful, the better quality the better the taste in the overall dish is a good rule to use. Better yet, if you like ale, pick something you know you like the taste of!
It is completely heavenly the next day in a sandwich (see picture!)

I actually wrote this late last night and this morning I saw this article (via his twitter account @StevieParle) by Stevie Parle about the benefits of slow cooking. In a very much related note, keep an eye out for a review of Stevie Parle’s new book in the near future…

Vick.

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1 Comment

  1. Looks and sounds absolutely gorgeous – so many lovely deep flavours. Yum!

    Reply

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