There’s a tasting at work on Tuesday evening.

We cook up tons of food, everyone eats and eats, and a good time is had by all.  The only problem is we have a single hot plate, a microwave, and an easy-bake oven to prepare all of this.  Now, we’re geniuses at creating on these primative pieces of equipment, but when one needs to have a score of things done simultaneously, it can get a bit hectic…  Think Thanksgiving Dinner.  With more people and with more dishes.  Did I say hectic?!?  It can get hectic.

We have our list of items that are being showcased and then have pretty much a free reign to create what we want from them.  Years ago, we solved the problem by creating a few bigger and/or time-consuming items at home and then bringing them in.  It really helps.

A few of the items highlighted are beef stew meat, mirepoix, and organic celery hearts.  Sounds like stew to me.    I had done a bourguignon last year and wanted to do something a bit different.  A beef paprikash came to mind, as did something smokey like a chipotle beef.  What I finally decided upon was a variation on my Beef Braised in Guinness.

I had some Dark English Ale that would substitute for the Guinness.  I have a huge pot.  Time to get to work.

Beef ‘n’ Ale

  • 2 pounds bacon, diced
  • 2  containers Mirepoix (diced celery, carrots, and onion)
  • 1 head garlic, chopped.
  • 10 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 ltr Dark English Ale
  • 1 qt Beef Stock
  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 2 organic celery hearts, chopped
  • 2 bags cut and peeled carrots
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Brown bacon in a bit of olive oil until crisp.  Remove from pan and set aside.

Add mirepoix and garlic and cook until vegetables are soft.  Remove and set aside.

Brown beef in batches.

When beef is done, add bacon and mirepoix back to the pan.

Add the ale, beef stock, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, honey, and basil.  Bring to a boil and simmer until liquid is reduced and thickens – a couple of hours is best.

Add celery and carrots and continue cooking until vegetables are done.

Two portions went to us tonight to sample and make sure it was fitting for the staff.  It is!

I served it on a local handmade pasta.

It really came out good.  And since we all know that soups and stews taste better after they’ve had a chance to sit overnight, this is just going to rock on Tuesday!