I almost always cook with wine (both in the glass and in the food) but rarely cook with beer.
No particular reason, I just use what’s on hand and there is always wine on hand.
After our last dinner party we had a few small bottle of dark ale left.
While we both enjoy a beer or two on warm summer days we rarely drink it on cold winter evenings…..
So one bottle went in the stew.
I’m not sure if it was the beef, the slow cooker or the beer, but this was the best beef stew I’ve ever made.
Slow Cooker Beef & Beer Stew
Total time: 8 hours
- 14oz (420gr) beef, suitable for braising or stewing, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 rib celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 medium potatoes. cut into eighths
- 4oz (120gr) cremini mushrooms, cut in half
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 tsp paprika, smoked
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 3/4 cup (6oz, 180ml) dark ale
- 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
- 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbs cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbs water, optional
- Mix flour and paprika in a small food bag. Add beef and toss to coat.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and brown well on all sides. Remove and put into the slow cooker
- Add onions, garlic to skillet and sauté 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add any remaining flour from food bag and cook briefly, stirring.
- Add beer and stir until bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat.
- Put carrots, potatoes, celery and mushrooms on top of beef.
- Pour beer / onions over the top.
- Add bay leaves.
- Combine stock and mustard and add to slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 7 1/2 hours.
- If you prefer a thicker gravy, add the cornstarch for the last 15 minutes and turn the slow cooker to high.
A few years ago we had a series of appliances break down. In relatively short order we replaced the refrigerator, the washer and the dryer.
Somewhere in the middle of all that I ended up with a credit card from the store we bought everything from. The store is But and they sell everything from beds to freezers to computers.
At Christmas, being a loyal credit card holder, I get a gift… The gift being store credit, of course.
Last year we used the 15 euro gift towards a small TV for the kitchen.
This year I decided to use our 30 euro gift towards a new desk chair.
The chair I have, while being a chair of excellent quality (it was from our business in the U.S.) is over 30 years old. It’s still in pristine condition except for one minor problem. It’s a pneumatic, adjustable desk chair. Every time I sit on it the air is released and I drop down to hit my chin on the desk. I stand up, lift the lever, the chair rises, I sit and all is fine.
Until the next time I stand up and sit back down. Then I have to do it all over again.
Often the procedure is enhanced by a few choice words.
Mon mari suggested I replace it.
He actually suggested that about 10 years ago when it first started happening.
I finally acquiesced.
We got to the store where I immediately went to look at chairs.
Mon mari wondered off.
I selected my chair and went in search of mon mari so we could check-out and leave.
He was looking at vacuum cleaners.
Cordless, vacuum cleaners to be specific.
The one we have (had) has a short cord and we have to use an extension cord, which keeps coming unplugged.
I usually sweep because it’s easier then hauling the vacuum and extension cords around.
As I was looking at the vacuum I mentioned to the clerk that we had 2 dogs.
She suggested that the vacuum in my hand wouldn’t be up to the task.
Long story short – we are now the proud owners of a premium, fancy-ass, Dyson Cordless Vacuum with a hundred different attachments to get into every nook and cranny and make cleaning our house and car magical.
It is, far and away, the bestest vacuum I have every had my hands on.
I have the strangest urge to put on a short, slinky dress, 5 inch stilettos and clean the house.
At least we got 30 euro off…..
(It was also on sale for another 30% off – annual December store promo)
Maybe next year I’ll get a chair.