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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Welcome Home Beef Stew

I'm finally home after three weeks on the east coast! It was a long visit full of rental cars and family visits, fish markets and holiday meals, mall shopping, city walking and topped off with a wedding. It was a fun but exhausting few weeks, and by the end of it I was craving my own bed, my own dog and even my own cooking. 

Throughout the long, jetlaggy Monday at the office, a tiny craving for beef stew grew steadily in my tastebuds. I wanted hearty beef, flavored with beer, no potatoes, over egg noodles. No matter what there would be egg noodles and God help me if there are potatoes. 

I made something like this a few years ago in Brooklyn when I had the day off and Rob did not. It took me all day to stew everything down and thicken the broth properly. I figured there must be a quick way to assemble it, I just needed to find a few shortcuts. So I did my research and meshed a few recipes and here's what I came up with, ready in about two hours. Let the record show that it came out almost as good as the all-day-simmer.

Mustardy Beer Broth Beef Stew

2 1/2lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 12-oz bottle amber beer (I used Full Sail)
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
dash of salt
dash of caraway seeds
dash of black pepper
dash of paprika 
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons Wondra flour 

Brown beef on all sides in two batches over medium-high. Set browned beef aside.
Reduce heat to medium low and sautee onion for about four minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add beer, the beef with any remaining juices and the rest of the ingredients up to the bay leaves. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours. In a small bowl, add Wondra flour and water together to thicken the stew to taste. 

Serve over egg noodles and alongside a simple kale and cucumber salad with Parmesan dressing.

It's true that it isn't much after a week of epic meals in New York (read: hours of omakase, a giant bottle of fancy sake and flakes upon flakes of fresh-shaved truffles) but this stuff was damn satisfying. 

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