An amber Belgian beer is ideal in this dish, though most amber beers or brown ales—such as Newcastle—would work just fine. Garnish this Belgian Beef and Beer Stew recipe with fresh thyme.
Cooking Light DECEMBER 2009
1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; set aside. Add half of beef to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining beef.
2. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and garlic; sauté 4 minutes or until half of liquid evaporates. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add bacon, beef, carrot, and remaining ingredients to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf.
Beer note: With Belgian Beef and Beer Stew, focus on Belgian beers in the style of Dubbel or Brune. These words indicate a dark-colored, malty beer that goes well with braised beef. Moinette Brune ($9/750 ml) offers fruity sweetness that works with caramelized vegetables and a bready quality that matches any stew, while the beer's lively effervescence and surprisingly light body won't weigh down a winter meal. --Jeffery Lindenmuth
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