Stew Beef with Mushrooms, Onions and Beer
This dish has become a winter Sunday night favorite at our house and one that totally satisfies the need for warming food on a cold day. Low temperature and slow cooking is a sure way of tenderizing most meat and stew beef is well suited for such a method. I have just thrown all the ingredients of this recipe into the slow cooker, mixed it up and put the lid on to cook for 8 hours and it does taste good but with a little extra effort, this procedure gives the richest flavor out of the same ingredients.
- 2-3 lbs stewing beef cubes
- ½ cup white bread flour
- 1 tsp each salt, pepper and garlic powder
- Olive, coconut or cooking oil of your choice
- 6 medium to large onions
- 6 portabella mushrooms—button mushrooms are good too.
- 1-2 tsp each dried and crumbled basil, marjoram and thyme
- 1 bottle beer—any will work but dark beer makes wonderful gravy
- 1 generous tbsp Dijon mustard
–In a bowl or plastic bag combine flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I save and reuse plastic bread bags for this job. It keeps the mess in the bag. Combine the flour and seasonings in a bag—without holes—add the beef and seal the top by gathering together and twisting to create a “balloon” filled with beef and breading mix. Hold the top together firmly, shake and roll around until the beef cubes are well coated. Reserve the leftover flour mix.
–Lightly cover the bottom of a large cast iron skillet with oil. Brown the beef cubes over medium high heat in batches if necessary; add oil as needed. Transfer the browned beef cubes to a slow cooker.
–Peel and slice the onions
–Slice the portabellas into strips
–Add the onion and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until softened. Add the herbs and stir in until they give off fragrance. Add two tablespoons of the reserved flour mix to lightly coat the onions and mushrooms. Stir until blended and sauté 1-2 minutes more. Transfer to the slow cooker.
–Add the beer and mustard to the skillet. Bring to a boil, stir and scrape up all the little brown bits. Pour into the slow cooker.
–If more gravy is desired add another beer, beef or vegetable broth.
–Cover and cook on the low setting 6-8 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes and carrots for a satisfying meal.
For variation and added flavor that takes this dish to another level:
Use 6-8 slices of fatty bacon cut into one-inch pieces. After the beef has been browned, fry the bacon in the skillet until well cooked and almost crispy. Then add the onions and mushrooms to the pan with the cooked bacon and proceed as directed above.
If a slow cooker isn’t available, a regular oven will work just as well. Use an ovenproof casserole dish with a lid and bake covered at 300˚F 4-5 hours.
Good winter food serving 6-8 people.