Hearty Beef Stew with Beer
When Scott & I were first married, we'd often purchase a half beef from his uncle's farm and split it with another family member. I remember working our way through the beef selections one at a time. When we'd get to the stewing beef packages, I'd set them aside for the fall or winter season. There's nothing like a steaming bowl of chunky stew to warm you up on those cold days!
We've always like beef stew but once we started using homemade bone broth AND beer in the recipe, the flavour has been kicked up a few notches!
To make your own easy bone broth at home, head over to this blog post.
What is stew beef?
If you pick up a package of stew beef from your local farm, butcher, or grocery store, you'll get a package filled with cubed pieces of beef. The butcher will cut up fairly uniform pieces of beef that are ready to be used for stew.
Can I cut up my own stew beef?
Absolutely! You can also cut your own stew beef cubes. Because of the long cooking time for stew, the best cuts for stew are the tougher cuts with a bit of marbling in them. The long & slow cooking time allows for the proteins in the tougher cuts to tenderize over time. If you are going to cut up your own stew beef pieces, make sure to not pick a cut that is too lean. Those lean cuts without a lot of marbling, can get too dried out and tough when cooked over long periods of time.
Cuts to choose:
- chuck or blade roast
- round roast or steak
- short ribs
- sirloin steak or roast
Cuts to avoid:
- new york strip steak
Beef Stew made with Beer Recipe
- 2 tablespoons lard, bacon grease, or olive oil
- 1 to 2 lbs stew beef, cubed round steak, or cubed chuck or blade roast
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 litre bone broth
- 1 355 mL beer
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- 2 large potatoes, diced
- 4 large carrots, diced
Heat lard, grease, or oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron pan. Add beef to pan. Cook on all sides until lightly browned on all sides. Remove from pan (beef will likely not be fully cooked through at this point).
Add onions to the pan and saute until soft. Add garlic and saute another minute until fragrant.
Pour about half the beer into the pan and stir to allow the baked on pieces to lift from the pan.
At this point you can choose to finish your stew on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Stovetop: Transfer the onion/garlic/beer mixture to a large dutch oven. Add the beef back in. Add the bone broth, worcestershire sauce, paprika, thyme, honey and salt and pepper. Bring the stew to a simmer over medium heat. Turn down to low and cover with a lid. Allow to simmer for 2 hours. Add potatoes & carrots to the dutch oven and stir. Add more water if necessary. Bring back up to a simmer and cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft, approximately 30 minutes.
Slow cooker: Transfer the onion/garlic/beer mixture to a large dutch oven. Add the beef back in. Add the bone broth, worcestershire sauce, paprika, thyme, honey and salt and pepper, potatoes, and carrots. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
For both: If you need to thicken your stew at the end of the cooking time, mix 4 tablespoons of flour with about a 1/2 cup of the stew broth. Mix thoroughly, then add back into the stew. Cook for an addition 15 to 30 minutes on the stovetop or an additional 30 to 60 minutes on high in the slow cooker.