Saturday, April 5, 2014

Beef and Ale Casserolle

I like to cook, no doubt, but I am just a guy cooking not a Chef nor a Cook... just me...but I am curios and I like to read recipe after recipe until I find something that would appeal to me. This recipe is an adaptation of Nigel Slater's (now...THAT IS A CHEF). Yes, its true: I did not invented casserole.

Back to this recipe: this is a wonderful dish for clod and crummy days. It spells HOME. Imagine, family, friends, home made bread, good wine and...a fabulous casserole. Life is good.

Beef and Ale Casserole

Cooking Time: 40 Minutes   Makes 6 servings


750 g stewing beef

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Tsp Kosher salt

2 Tbsp (full) if flour

2 340 ml bottles of beer* 

2 Onions sliced

2 or 3 Thyme sprigs

3 Bay Leaves

1 Tbsp Red currant jelly

*(your choice.Some people swear that Guinness is the only one…I don’t use that one)

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat oven t0 350˚F  (180˚C)

2. Cut your beef into large pieces (I use beef tenderloin…when is on sale)

3. In a Dutch Oven, medium-high, melt the butter and brown your beef and add the salt. Don’t worry about that nasty looking crust in the oven…we want it)

4. Once the beef is brown in some areas we are going to remove it and put aside, leaving the juices in the casserole. 

 5. Add the sliced onions and stir. If you feel that the mix is too dry, then add a bit of more butter and if the beef has released lots  of juice, then drain the juice, just let enough to cover the bottom of the Dutch Oven.

5. Mix the flour. Stir. You should have a thick sauce, a bit thicker than apple sauce). If you need more flour, just add it bit by bit (otherwise we will have a cake!). We want a  mix with no lumps. 

6. Add the bay leaves and the thyme

7. The fun part: we are going to add the beer! (I usually use 3 bottles, two for the casserole and one for me while I cook). Stir.

8. Add the beef and the rest of the juices and place it in the oven, lid closed, for at least one hour  and a half… should be enough to get a tender beef, but here is the tricky part: you want the meat to be soft but not disintegrating so with a fork check for softness. When your beef is too tender…less time, but if the beef is not tender we need more time…maximum another 40 minutes, otherwise the sauce will get sour. When ready remove it from the oven and let it seat, lid open.

9. Stir in the red currant jelly (if you don’t have it use raspberry, sour cherry jam or blueberry jelly…something that will add a kick, so sweet jelly is not an option).

10. Now… to serve: you can use as a side dish mashed potatoes, white or brown rice or noodles. Your choice.

11. Enjoy!

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