March 8, 2010

Beef Stew with Craig's Beer Bread

So I was immediately intrigued when Craig happened to mention he had a wicked beer bread recipe at work one day. I've heard rumors of people roasting chickens or turkeys with beer, but never in bread, though it's rather logical when you think about it. Craig mentioned that his last batch made with a can of Bud came out really well, and I was all gung-ho to do the same, except I then found a forgotten bottle of Heineken in the kitchen. And really, if I don't have to buy an extra ingredient, so much the better. I thought I'd get a nice-ish bottle (we're only so classy here at WTF) of French wine for the beef stew to make up for the Bud, but then I found a small bottle of questionable wine that my grandmother had picked up as a party favor at a wedding. It contained exactly one cup of wine. Perfecto.

The beer bread ended up tasting like banana bread. Go figure. And the beef stew was great back when the weather was freezing. I might add more cumin next time, though.

Beef Stew with Craig's Beer Bread

Beef Stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb boneless beef chuck, cubed
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, cut into coins
2 medium potatoes, diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup wine
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large pot and add the beef when hot, searing the meat on all sides. Remove from pot and add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are soft. Add the carrots, potatoes, and cumin, and cook for about five minutes.

Return the beef to the pot and add the wine and enough water to cover the contents, about 2 cups. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for at least an hour. Stew is ready when beef is tender and falls apart easily.

Craig's Beer Bread
Courtesy of the man himself

2-1/2 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
3 tsp baking powder
3 tablespoons each:
ground flax seed
turbinado sugar
mix of chopped walnuts, seeds, etc.
1 bottle/can of beer

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ.

Combine the dry ingredients and then add the beer. The dough should be just moist, airy, and sticky, but not wet and heavy like a batter. Be prepared to adjust as variables such as brand of flour, humidity, and beer will affect the bread.

Pour the dough into a greased metal loaf pan or foil wrapped glass dish and bake for 45 (or up to 55) minutes. When the top is browned, remove the loaf from the pan and cool before slicing.

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