The Inland Empire is stepping up its craft beer game, and I’m definitely not complaining!
It’s nice to not have to drive to Escondido, Anaheim, San Diego, or Los Angeles whenever I want to experience the craft brew-house scene.
Ritual Brewing Co. opened just a few short months ago right around the corner from my place of work. It literally takes me four minutes to drive there. It is our most-used growler*.
I really really love their “Extra Red.” It’s complex, hoppy, and just downright good. When this recipe popped in my head, I knew instantly that I would be using this beer.
This recipe is a play on Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon. There are some methods of preparation that are the same, but some that are different to accommodate our busier lifestyles. I also threw in way more veggies to not only stretch out the beef, but to make it a bit lighter. I can’t seem to have enough tender carrots or potatoes alongside braised beef!
Whatever you do, do not skip patting the meat dry, or searing it before you throw it in the crock pot. It’s a deceptively simple meal, but can go south quickly OR it won’t be as spectacular as it should be.
The hoppiness of this particular red really balances nicely with the sweetness of the carrots, onions, and seared beef. This really is comfort food at its finest, nourishing not only the body, but the soul too. It’s definitely near the top of the hubby and I’s list, that’s for sure!
What’s your favorite comfort food?
- Serves: 6
- Serving size: 2 cups
- Calories: 640
- Fat: 29.9
- Saturated fat: 10.1
- Carbohydrates: 47.7
- Sugar: 10.2
- Sodium: 1072.1
- Fiber: 6.9
- Protein: 41.8
- Cholesterol: 112.1
- ½ Pound Bacon, cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 ½ Pounds Organic Beef Stew meat
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- ½ Teaspoon Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Bacon Fat
- 4 Cups Organic Carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 Cups Organic Potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 Cups Organic Onions, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 Organic Portobello Mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Cups Red Ale Beer
- 2 Cups Organic Veggie, Chicken or Beef Stock
- 4 Organic Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cut up the bacon, and add to the pan, cooking until the bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes.
- While the bacon cooks, pat each piece of stew meat with a paper towel to ensure that the meat is thoroughly dry.
- Remove bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels. In a small jar or bowl, reserve all but one tablespoon of bacon grease from the skillet.
- Turn the skillet up to medium-high, season the stew meat with the salt and pepper, and sear in 3-4 batches, two minutes per side, adding a tablespoon of reserved bacon grease before starting each new batch. Place the browned meat in a crock pot.
- Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, and sear the carrots, about 2 minutes. Add to the crock pot. Do the same with the onions, and then the mushrooms.
- With a cup of beer, de-glaze the skillet, getting all the good bits off of the bottom, and add to the crock pot. Add the remaining beer, potatoes, garlic, and stock to the crock pot. Gently mix until everything is evenly combined. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.
- Once the cooking time is up, add the flour and corn starch to a small pot. Using a ladle or large spoon, measure out a cup of the cooking liquid. Add ½ cup of the cooking liquid to the pot, and whisk until well combined. After mixing, heat the pot over medium heat, add the remaining cooking liquid, and cook until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add back into the crock pot, and mix until combined. Serve with rustic bread and enjoy!
*A ‘growler’ is a glass jug used to transport beer from brewery to home.