The Last Vestiges of Winter: Flemish Beef Stew

While it has been gloriously sunny all weekend, the sun has been deceptive. It’s bitingly cold outside, which is not condusive to outdoor pursuits. So instead of working on the garden and firing up the grill for the first time, I’m thinking soups and stews. During the colder months, I favor hearty fare like Bacon & Whiskey Chili (or my variant on that winner – Bison & Bourbon Chili) and Rustic Beef Stew but after several months of spicy or wine-based dishes, I’m a little worn out on them.

That’s when I remembered that beef also pairs really well with beer. Epicurious, as usual, turned up a great recipe for Flemish Beef Stew. My recipe below is a slight adaptation of the it.

8 slices of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/3 cup flour, seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper

1 onion, diced

2 potatoes, cubed

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups beef broth

1 bottle beer

1 can tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 tablespoons light brown sugar

1. Fry bacon in a large stockpot. While the bacon is frying, dredge the beef in the seasoned flour.

2. Brown the beef with the bacon.

3. Add the onions and cook until just translucent. Add the garlic and cook for just a minute.

4. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for a few minutes until slightly darker in color.

5. Add the broth, beer, potatoes, thyme and brown sugar. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles if desired.