Thursday, February 02, 2012

Cooking Week Five: Boozy Beef Stew

So this week's challenge was cooking with alcohol.  I don't like wine.  I don't like vodka sauce (despite my love for tomato sauce and vodka, the two should not be mixed imho).  This left me wondering, what can I make with the alcohol that we do like.  I briefly considered beer bread but since it poses too much of a hazard for my waistline (mmmmm buttery beer bread....) I instead used Guinness stew as inspiration.

Now we don't really like Guinness in my house.  Yes I do have Irish blood but I don't touch Guinness or Irish Whiskey.  The boy loves him some Jameson.  I, however, hate the stuff.  Instead I decided that hard cider was a good option, so hard cider beef stew ensued!

I base my stew on a recipe in the Fix It and Forget It Big Cookbook, changing it a bit based on what's in the house and preferences. 

I began by chopping up a chuck roast into stew sized bites. 

Then I tossed my 1.5 lbs of chuck in 1/4 c. of flour and spiced it liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Next I chopped up potatoes, carrots, celery and an onion and added it to the pot.  I also added a sprinkling of basil. 

Followed by pouring on around two-ish teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, a bottle of hard cider and most of pack of beef broth.

Cover and cook on high 4-6 hours or low 10-12.  I wound up cooking on high 1 hour and then low 8 hours and my potatoes were not thoroughly cooked.  They needed another 2 hours or so on low. 

If you sub the hard cider for more beef broth, this is my standard beef stew recipe and I love it.  With the hard cider it added a little more of a tang I guess is the best way to describe it and is still definitely delicious!

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