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Beef Stew with Beer

Serves 4

I am not a beer drinker, but I love the flavor it imparts in cooking, especially in a recipe like this easy and hearty beef stew. Serve on top of noodles or rice or, if desired, add potatoes with the other vegetables for a one pot meal.

Ingredients

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add to skillet in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, and brown well on all sides. Remove from skillet using slotted spoon. When all the beef is browned, return to the skillet. Sprinkle with flour and stir to blend. Cook for 3 minutes. Remove to a Dutch oven, using a slotted spoon.

Degrease skillet. Place over medium-high heat; add beer and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Blend in vinegar, mustard, bay leaf and thyme. Pour beer mixture over meat. Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute. Mix onions and garlic into meat.

Bring stew to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until meat is tender, about 1-1/2 hours. Skim off extra fat, if necessary. Add carrots and cook for an additional 30 minutes. If stew is too dry, add more water or broth as needed. If too liquid, cook uncovered until desired consistency. Serve with rice, noodles, boiled potatoes or just some good crusty bread. (Stew can be prepared two or three days ahead, refrigerated and gently reheated over medium-low heat.)