Flemish Beer Stew – the perfect way to warm up on a chilly evening, And, even though it’s roots are Belgian, it’s also a great alternative to Corned Beef and Cabbage on St Patrick’s Day (after all, it’s made with beer, and we all know how much the Irish love their beer!).
Perfect for a chilly autumn evening, this hearty stew pays homage to the classic Belgian beef stew, and was one of my mom’s favorites. I recall eating this dish as a teenager, and it was delicious. Unfortunately, the recipe was lost for years. I recently found it when I was perusing some of mom’s old cookbooks. Her personal version of this dish was written into the margins by a recipe of the same name:
Last week I made mom’s Beer Stew for Robert and a few friends, and everyone loved it. The combination of flavors not often found in a beef stew – brown sugar, vinegar, beer – combine to form a delicious sauce for the beef. I hope that when you make this dish it fills your belly and warms your heart as much as it did ours.
- 8 tablespoons butter, divided, plus extra for greasing the casserole dish
- 2 pounds lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes, divided
- 1/2 cup flour, divided
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, divided
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 to 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 2 cups beef broth
- 24 ounces dark Belgian (or Belgian-style) beer
- 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large, deep casserole dish. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Toss half the beef in 1/4 cup flour to coat, shaking off the excess, and cook in butter until browned on all sides. Remove and place in prepared casserole dish. Repeat with remaining butter, beef and flour. Do not clean out the pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, sugar, parsley, thyme and bay leaves on top of the beef. Set aside.
- Add chopped onion, shallot and garlic to skillet used to cook the beef. Cook over medium heat until soft, around 7 to 8 minutes. Stir in the beef broth, bring to a low boil and scrape up the tidbits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add to the casserole dish. Pour beer over the top. Bake for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- While the stew is cooking, peel, quarter and steam the potatoes until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Coarsely mash.
- Remove stew from oven, remove bay leaves and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve stew with potatoes.
Make ahead: Stew may be prepared up to 24 hours in advance, covered and refrigerated. Reheat before serving. The dish may be frozen for up to 2 months.