Apparently it’s still snowing in some places. CRAZY. It’s even chilly and drizzly here in San Diego (don’t worry, I am not complaining), so I think we’re all probably in the mood for some cozy food.
My sister-in-law Cora made beef stew for the family this past summer and it was sublime. I make a pretty good beef stew, but hers was definitely better. I finally got around to bugging her for the recipe and, as usual, she obliged. She’s good like that.
Cora sort of follows Ree’s seef stew with beer and paprika recipe but changes a few things up. I followed her lead and ended up with this most delicious stew. The sauce is so rich in flavor, the meat so tender, the veggies cooked to perfection.
Yes, it’s called Boozy Beef Stew. Because there are two bottles of beer in the pot and how can you not name it Boozy Beef Stew with all that beer involved? Never fear, it doesn’t taste like a bottle of beer with a few chunks of meat thrown in. It just tastes good. So good.
Also, this recipe gives me an excuse to use one of my most favorite items in the kitchen – a bottle opener we got from Nate’s great-grandma Rose’s home when she moved into assisted living at age 99. We don’t drink around here, so this cute little bottle opener doesn’t get much action. But when I do take it out, it always makes me happy.
I modified the recipe just a bit so it is quite literally a one-pot dinner. I hate washing dishes. A lot. You’ll be able to cook it all in one pot, no extra dishes required! (Well, you will have to use a knife and cutting board, but that doesn’t count, right?)
Now, go booze up your beef.
- A few swigs of olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1½ pounds stew meat
- salt and pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 24 ounces beer (Cora and I used Samuel Adams, go with whatever you like)
- 5 cups boiling water
- 4 teaspoons beef bouillon or beef concentrate
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 whole carrots, washed, peeled, cut into bite-sized discs
- 2 medium-sized red potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 medium-sized white potatoes, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- fresh minced parsley (optional)
- In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat a few swigs of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent.
- Sprinkle beef evenly with salt and pepper right in the package (just on one side). Once the onions are cooked, turn the heat up a bit to about medium-high and add the meat to the pot, dumping the meat face down so the seasoned sides hit the bottom of the pan. While that side is browning sprinkle the unseasoned sides of the meat evenly with salt and pepper. Brown both sides of the meat.
- Add garlic to the pot and stir.
- Pour the beer, boiling water and beef bouillon/concentrate into the pot and mix well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, paprika and sugar. Stir to combine. If it's not already boiling, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low so that the soup is simmering.
- Cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 2 to 2½ hours. Make sure it's simmering throughout the cooking process (I had to adjust my heat up and down a few times during the 2 hours because my stove is funky like that).
- Remove the lid, raise heat to medium and add the carrots and potatoes. Simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until the veggies are tender but still firm. You may need to reduce the heat to medium-low during this final simmer. You don't want it totally boiling, just a nice simmer.
- Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve topped with fresh minced parsley, if desired.