Spring Beef Stew

Serves 6-8
Adapted from Savoring the Seasons, Lucia Watson

Ingredients Amount
thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces 2 strips
Unsalted butter 3 Tblsp.
Vidalia or yellow Onions, thinly sliced 2 onions
Pinch of Kosher Salt and pinch of sugar pinch
lean, boneless stew meat, cut into 1- 1/2 inch pieces 2 pounds
All-purpose flour 1.5 Tblsp.
Dark beer 12 oz.
Bay leaves 2
Whole sprig of Thyme 1-2
Sprigs of Parsley 1-2
Beef stock 1 quart
Worcestershire sauce 2 Tblsp.
Tomato paste 1 Tblsp.
Red wine vinegar 2 Tblsp.
Carrots, peeled and chunked into 1/2 pieces 3
Parsnips, peeled and chunked into 1/2 pieces 2-3
Celery chunked into 1/2 pieces 2 stalks
Potatoes, peeled and chunked into 1/2 pieces 2
Blue cheese crumbled for garnish 1 cup

Directions:

  1.  In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat to render the fat.  Remove the bacon from the pan, add the butter to the pan and melt.  Then add the sliced onions and a pinch of salt and sugar.  Cook over low heat until the onions become a rich caramel color – about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan.
  2. Add the beef and sear over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle with the flour and stir.  Then add the beer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the bacon and onions to the meat, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Tie the bay leaves, thyme, and parsley in cheesecloth and add to the pot.  Cover it all with the beef stock, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 -1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Remove the cheesecloth and add the red wine vinegar, and the vegetables.  Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Serve with thick slices of warm artisan bread.  My family likes sweet rye or multi-grain with this stew – so yummy!