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beef stew with or without beer

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What is you fav beef stew recipe? I don't think i like them with red wine. don't have much sucess with cooking with them (most of the time). so i'm thinking i should try making some stew with beer. more consistent that way, i suppose

which do you favor? beer or cab? and should i use dark, light or brown beer?

to soy sauce or not to soy sauce?

making them for around 10 peeps for our ski weekend in a few days.

thanks!! -Jeni

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  1. Whether I select wine or beer in my beef stew recipe depends on whether I want the robust support of the beer or the subtlety of the wine. For a ski weekend, beer wins in my book. The introduction of soy sauce would raise if one level above the norm ... not a bad idea; just use a good quality soy sauce and don't overdo it.

    1. I find that the type and brand of beer I use makes a huge difference. I like a good quality Belgian beer the best, like Chimay. The off notes in cheaper beers are way more pronounced when cooked.

      1. Try looking at recipes for Carbonnade of Beef - a hearty Belgian stew with dark beer and LOTS of onions.
        Cooks Illustrated once wrote about why brining isn't used for beef (a scientific reason I can't recall) in which they discussed how soy marinades tenderize and flavor beef the way salt brines do for poultry, pork, and shrimp. Go with the soy, but keep in mind that you'll need to cut back on any added salt in the recipe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: greygarious

          Carbonnade is what I thought of first - it's my favorite beef stew. And my husband's - it's what I made for dinner on our second date ;-)

        2. Rather than soy sauce, how about a couple teaspoons of toasted sesame oil? It would give your meat loaf a smoky, deeper BBQ flavor.

          1. The problem with "beef stew" is people think you have to stew it! Take that nice piece of beef (whole, not cut up) and *braise* it for an hour a pound at 225F. I'll braise with just broth, water/broth, or broth/dark beer. In the last hour adjust the seasonings to suite - add salt, pepper, Old Bay, Song Herbs, etc. Then add some favorite chopped vegetables - carrots, fennel, celery, small onions, green beans...whatever strikes your fancy. To make Flemish style beef stew that has been braised with beer, add a slice of dark bread that has been smeared wiht a nice coat of mustard. It will dissolve and add interesting flavors. In the end, remove the meat and pop it in the freezer to set up for an hour or so. Cut the firmed up meat into bite sized pieces and return it to the pot of goodness. Heat and serve with a baguette or flatbread to soak up the goodies.