A tasty way to use a six-pack

Published 9:05 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beer is one of the post popular drinks in the world.

Personally, I don’t care for it. Any of it. I don’t like the taste of beer, light or otherwise.

Jason, on the other hand, loves it.

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Anything that lies around or kitchen long enough is bound to get cooked or thrown in a recipe and beer is no different.

From cheese soup to bread and several handfuls of others, I’ve found that beer – and even the flavor of beer – adds a lot to a myriad of dishes. I still won’t drink it, but I don’t mind cooking with it.

Through some tinkering, I’ve found “whole” beer is better for cooking than light beer, and brown ales and darker beers are generally better in breads.

Eventually, the temperature is bound to turn cold again, so if you find yourself in need of a hearty beef stew dish with a few beers to spare, give this recipe a try:

1 pound bacon, diced

1 tablespoon butter

20 pearl onions, peeled

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds lean beef, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups dark beer, whatever kind you like

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Blanch the bacon for 1 minute in boiling water and drain. Put the bacon and butter in a large covered pot or Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until bacon is browned. Add onions and cook until golden. Add garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, but be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove bacon mixture from pot and set aside. Do not wash the pot! You still need it!

Add beef to the fat left in the pot and brown on all sides. When meat the is browned, return bacon mixture to the pot and stir in flour, salt and pepper.

Add enough beer to just barely cover the meat. What kind of beer is up to you but it needs to be dark and flavorful. Guinness is pretty easy to find and works just fine, but if you’re a “beer nerd” as Jason calls it, you probably know what else you can use. This is a Belgian stew so if you have a favorite Belgian Ale, I’m sure it would be great in this recipe.

Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove pot from heat and stir in parsley, lemon zest and about 2 tsp. lemon juice. Serve hot.

This is great over noodles or rice.

Tiffany Cannon is a field editor for Taste of Home Magazine and owner of 2ate9 Bakery and Catering in Demopolis. She can be reached via email at tiffany@2ate9.com