To avoid standing over the stove browning the meat in Step 1, heat the oven to S00°F and roast the seasoned pieces in a large roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil, shaking the pan to turn the cubes once or twice, until brown all over, 15 to 20 minutes.
Other cuts and meats you can use: cubed beef brisket; pork shoulder or fresh ham (pork leg); leg of lamb or lamb shoulder.
Pairs well with our Mustard Greens recipe
Beef braised in beer, Belgian style:
In Step 2 omit the flour. Use l½ cups full-bodied dark beer for the liquid. Omit the potatoes, carrots, and peas. Jus before serving, stir in a tablespoon or 2 Dijon mustard. To serve, spoon the stew over buttered noodles or mashed potatoes.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ to 2 pounds boneless beef chuck or round, cut into 1.5" cubes
Salt and pepper
2 onions, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable stock (to make
your own, see beef stock) or water, plus
more if needed
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
1 pound waxy or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
Fresh parsley for garnish
1. Put the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When it's hot add a few pieces of the meat, keeping enough space in between so they sizzle. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, turning to brown well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. As they finish, transfer the pieces to a plate with a slotted spoon and add more to the pot; repeat until all the beef is browned. (If you used the oven to brown the meat, scrape the pan drippings into a large pot and pick up from here.)
2. Spoon off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat and lower the heat to medium. Add the onions. Cook, stirring, until softened and falling apart, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and cook, stirring, until they become golden, about 2 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaf, and thyme, and return the meat to the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the stew bubbles gently, and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, for about 1 hour.
3. The meat should be cooked but a still little tough. Put the potatoes and cai;;rots on top; if they're not submerged, add a little more stock. Stir, return the liquid to a boil, then lower the heat and cover again. Cook until the meat and vegetables are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (At this point, you can refrigerate the stew for up to a couple of days or freeze it for up to a few months.)
4. If you're pleased with the stew's consistency, continue to cook it covered over low heat. If it's too soupy, remove the cover and raise the heat to high to reduce the sauce. Add the peas, adjust the heat to medium low , and cook just until they're warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve in shallow bowls garnished with parsley.