Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Spicy Beer and Kale Stew

Like a Belgian (actually, Flemish) Carbonnade, this stew uses dark ale (Newcastle Brown); the similarity ends there. It also has leeks, hot chili peppers, and kale, which make for a complex and tasty combination. You can make the sauce thicker, but I wanted a soupier, classic stew-like texture. I've given instructions for both ways below.

You'll need:

3.5 lbs beef chuck, trimmed & cut into 1" chunks
1 onion, sliced
1 large leek, quartered lengthwise & cut into 1/2" pieces
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large rib celery, chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed and sliced
1T tomato paste
about 4 dried chili peppers (I used 2 chipotle, 2 other)
1 12oz bottle Newcastle, or other dark ale or stout
4c broth (I used the tongue broth I froze when I made the offal dinner)
3T flour
1 bunch kale, leaves removed and stems discarded
chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Pass chilies over gas flame until slightly blackened. Submerge in boiling water; cover.

Salt and pepper beef chunks and brown well in hot grapeseed oil, in batches. Set aside browned meat.

Lower heat. Add onion, leek, carrot, celery, garlic, tomato paste, salt & pepper. Stir, scraping brown bits at bottom of pot. Cook about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, remove chilies from water. Slice open to remove seeds. Chop roughly and add to cooking veggies.

Add flour to veggies and stir well, 2 minutes. Add beer. Scrape to remove flour stuck to bottom of pan. Scrape and stir until the pan is clean.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add meat and accumulated juices. Cover and place in oven. Cook until meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours.

At this point, it's best to let the stew sit overnight for the flavors to develop, but you don't have to. If you do, reheat it in a 300 degree oven about 30 minutes before serving.

For a thicker stew, remove the meat and puree the liquid and veggies with an immersion blender. You can then reduce the pureed liquid to achieve your desired consistency. I normally do this, but for this stew, I wanted a more classic, brothy feel.

About 10 minutes before serving, add kale and stir to combine. Cook until kale is tender. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt & pepper). Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with spicy cornbread, brown rice, or egg noodles.

Spicy Cornbread

We used Bob's Red Mill Cornbread mix
and added 1 chopped habanero & 2 chopped jalapeƱos to the batter.

2005 La Cabotte Cotes du Rhone


Katie said...

a habanero AND 2 jalapenos! you guys are mad.

Jesse said...

I should have used more...the jalapeno gave a nice taste of pepper but not the heat I was looking for. The stew was killer!

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