The story on local food and drink

Flemish Beef and Beer Stew

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By Christina McKeough, adapted from Saveur Magazine

Serves 4

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2″ x ½″-thick slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups Belgian-style ale, like Ommegang Abbey Ale
1 cup beef stock
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
Bread, for serving

Season beef with salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the flour and toss to coat. Heat two tablespoons of butter in a 6 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the beef and brown it, turning pieces often, about 8 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate and set aside. Add bacon and cook until its fat renders, about 8 minutes. Add remaining butter, garlic, and onions. Cook until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Add half the beer and cook, scraping the bottom of pot, until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Return beef to pot with remaining beer, stock, sugar, vinegar, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until beef is very tender, about 2 ½ hours. Serve with bread.

Pair with your favorite hearty local beer—the Ommegang Abbey Ale goes very well.

This recipe originally appeared in our Winter 2012/2013 issue.

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