Beef Stew With Bourbon

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Beef Stew With Bourbon

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:41 pm

This recipe comes from a stew cookbook written by Clifford A. Wright. I made it this weekend (01/24/09) for a brewing party (see Five Butt Beer post in 'What Ales You' forum). It turned out to be a first rate stew and was enjoyed to the degree that none was left. I used butter instead of suet and for the bourbon I used a mixture of Maker's Mark and William LaRue Weller 117.9 proof. I used those bourbons for the sweetness in the MM and for the richness of the Weller. I probably used a full cup of bourbon rather than the 2/3 cup (remember I doubled the recipe) in the recipe..........just couldn't resist.

3 Tablespoons finely chopped beef suet or unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs boneless beef round (I used chuck, but it was choice quality) trimed of large pieces of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
! large onion chopped
1 fat carrot, chopped
1/2 cup beef broth (I used a bit more than a cup and it was low sodium broth)
1/4 cup dry white wine (I probably used 1/3 cup of white wine)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons meat glace (optional - I used Tone's Beef Base)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. In a large cassorole (I used a slow cooker pot) heat the butter (beef suet) over medium-high heat until the butter (fat) has melted. If using butter wait until the butter stops sizzling before browning the meat. Brown the beef on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside

2, Add the onion and carrot to the pot and cook until the onion is translucent and sticks to the bottom of the pot, 7 or 8 minutes. Return the beef, with it accumulated juices to the pot and let the juices deglaze the pot for a few minutes, scraping the botton. Add the beef broth, wine, and tomato paste. Salt lightly and season with pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to very low, using a heat diffuser if necessary. Cover and simmer until the meat is very tender, about 4 hours.

3. Add the meat glaze, if using, and bourbon and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes more. Check the seasoning, stir in the parsley and serve.

I cooked this recipe (doubled) on Thursday, refrigerated it and served it after heating it to a simmer the next day in the afternoon. It was very well received by about 25 or so people. I served mine over a couple of pieces of Italian bread, but it would work with rice or noodles also. This recipe is quite easy to make and is superb in taste!
Last edited by Mike on Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
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Re: Beef Stew With Bourbon

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:24 pm

It sounds very good, Mike. I wonder what the difference would be if the whiskey was added to the pot at the beginning? Probably the idea of adding it towards the end is to preserve its flavor, but still I wonder how it would work this other way.

I have a book at home, a real 1950's artifact, which is about cooking with spirits, wine and beer. It is by a lady called Ruth Vendley Neumann. I always liked this book because first, amongst the spirits shown on the cover is a tall bottle of I.W. Harper. So Ms. Neumann chose quality stuff for her alcohol-based ingredients. Second, she has an engaging, 1950's can-do style and approach and tells funny stories. Plus, the recipes are interesting in most cases. She does sometimes uses the odd canned ingredient or other short-cut - this was a feature of early post-war cookery in North America, now somewhat demodee - but the core of most recipes is very sound.

She gives a recipe for beef stew and bourbon called Jimmie Carter's Stew. (No connection to President Jimmy Carter that I can see). I'll quote it in full tonight, and give the name of the publisher and full name and date of the book in case anyone wants to track it down on Amazon.

She gives a recipe for an all-beer-based sauerbraten, brought from Austria on a tour there in the early 1950's (she mentions seeing damage from WW II that hadn't been repaired), which I've tried and is amazing. This recipe is associated with wine of course but it makes a great beer-based dish too.

Also, she gives a recipe to cure pickles (from cucumbers) that involves an all-beer brine.

It's books like this (amongst many others, e.g., some of James Beard's, or the Time-Life Cooking Series from the 1960's with that vibrant colour photography of the era) that show that good cooking was not a rarity before the 1970's in America. There was a lot of good and inventive cooking around, some of it regional, some of it lurking in kitchens in cities like Chicago where she lived. People always knew how to cook good food but maybe not always how to promote it or the lifestyle associated with it.

I'm a gonna cook up Mike's stew maybe with some ideas from the Jimmie Carter recipe and put the casserole on a heat proof Lazy Susan and pass it 'round for the crowd to eat up. And we'll get some good beer (maybe for this one we'll go back to the Neumann era and get some Michelob or Ballantine XXX or Molson Export) and yea maybe some vintage Harper too, or somethin else I've got from the 1950's (well, 1970's will do), and I'll get out a deck of Kents or Export "A" (just kidding), and some Floating Island for dessert or Cherries Jubilee. And why not start with a mess of oysters or a chilled shrimp cocktail? With iced celeri and carrots and shallot in a lipped thick glass holder like you use for a Sundae. Who eats Sundaes anymore anyway, so maybe that should be the dessert.

And it will be GOOD.

Gary
Last edited by gillmang on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Beef Stew With Bourbon

Unread postby Mike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:53 pm

Shiiite Gary, now you cooking!

Let me know when this affair is to take place and i will do my damdest to be there. My wife and I all both love Toronto. I will bring some CERTIFIED HOMEBREW to sample.............and some Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout to go with the Stew and we will see kin we make merry!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas
Mike
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Location: Conyers, GA

Re: Beef Stew With Bourbon

Unread postby gillmang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:05 pm

I'll let ya know Mike, thanks! :)

Gary
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