Baby, it’s cold outside, and it’s time to turn to heartier dishes. Gone is the grill fare of summer time, replaced by soul-warming stews and mulled beverages. One of my favorites is this beef, onion, and porter stew – a hearty stew that will keep you cozy for at least a couple of meals.
Beef, Onion, and Porter Stew
2 pounds of beef stew meat
2 tbsp butter
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bottle of porter
5 C beef stock
salt and pepper
Start by seasoning your beef – which should be chopped into inch or inch-and-a-half cubes – with some salt and pepper. Pour a little bit of oil into the bottom of your stew pot, and then toss the beef into the pot. Sear the cubes in batches, depending on how big your pot is, until all sides are nicely browned. Then take out the meat and set it aside.
Melt the butter in the bottom of the same pot and toss in the chopped onion and shallot. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the veggies have softened up. Then add the beef back to the pot, along with the fresh thyme and a bottle of your favorite porter. I’m a fan of Fuller’s London Porter, but any good dark beer will do, really.
Add enough beef stock to cover everything in the pot. Turn the heat down to low, partially cover the pot, and cook for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally. Add more beef stock throughout the cooking process as the liquid boils off, to make sure things don’t get too dry and stringy.
After an hour and a half, when the stew looks thick and the beef is deliciously tender, take it off heat. The stew is great with bread, or plays really nicely with potatoes or another starchy base. Best served while watching snow fall outside your window or curled up next to the fire.