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Beef Stew with Stout

Ingredients

  • 2    pounds stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2    tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1    large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2    garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3    tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1    cup beef stock
  • 1    cup stout (we used Shirley’s Stout, North Peak Brewing Co.)
  • 3    carrots, sliced
  • 1    teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1    teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2    bay leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 6    prunes, pitted
  • 2    tablespoons parsley for garnish

Preparation

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté the onions until they are clear. Remove from pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and quickly sear all the meat on all sides in small batches. (It is important to do this in small batches so that the meat sears, not steams.) Return all seared meat to the pot, reduce heat and add the flour and garlic, stirring to coat all the meat. Add the stock and the stout and stir until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens a bit, making sure no lumps form. Add the cooked onions, carrots, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, salt and black pepper to taste and simmer gently for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, uncovered so that the gravy thickens. At the last half-hour of cooking, chop the prunes and add them to the pot. When the meat is tender, and the gravy develops a glossy finish, remove the bay leaves, check your seasoning, and add a little more stock to thin the gravy, if needed. Serve with boiled or roasted potatoes and garnish with parsley. Serves 4 to 6.