Tag Archives: stew

Beer Beef Stew

Beer Beer Stew

Beer Beef Stew. Those three words instantly take my mind to one place: The Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro in Bellingham.

It was a favorite haunt of mine in my college days, and the Beer Beef Stew was a dish not to be missed on a cold November day. And it combines two of my favorite victuals. Beef and beef.

This is a recipe my girlfriend and I printed off a couple of years ago, (we keep a binder of the recipes we like) and can’t seem to find it on the Food Network site any longer. It’s not Boundary Bay’s but close enough to make my stomach happy.

The only changes were the substitution of chicken broth for beef (It’s all we had, and it worked fine.) and of course, I added about five cloves of garlic. Mostly because I couldn’t think of any reason not to.

In the beer department, we used Deschutes Black Butte Porter.

Recipe after the jump:

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Stew in a Pumpkin, a Delicious Experiment

pumpkin stewLast week, a co-worker brought in a great little dish of rice and ground beef in a pumpkin. I didn’t get the recipe, but it did remind me of a little experiment I tried last year: Stew in a pumpkin.

I had an extra pumpkin from the in-laws and went online looking for recipes when I ran across an Argentine Stew in a Pumpkin Shell on Cooks.com.

It was good, but a little too sweet for my taste. So when I saw a dish-in-a-pumpkin again this year, I determined to experiment a little with the recipe, knowing full well that I’d have to eat or manage to pawn off a whole pumpkin’s worth of stew if I messed it up.

That’s the down-side of food experimentation, but even when I fail, I end up learning more about how different ingredients affect what I”m cooking so that someday … someday, I’ll be able to just whip up something delicious off the top of my head.

Not quite there yet, but my experiments are getting better and better. Here’s how the stew-in-a-pumpkin came out: Last year’s stew ended up being too sweet for my taste, so I cut down on the amount of sweet potato, added a mix of white and red potatoes, and quartered the apricots. I also threw in a little savory cumin and coriander and chiles to play up on the Southern Americas flavors I wanted something from Argentina to have (which, I realize, is not a realistic expectation since Argentine cooking tends to have a lot of Italian influence and there really is no one cooking style for South American or Latin American countries). And since I happened to have a glass of Syrah in-hand (what a surprise!) I tossed in a splash of that too. Recipe and notes follow.

argentine pumpkin stew in a bowl

Argentine Stew in Pumpkin
adapted from a Cooks.com recipe

2 lb. beef stew meat, cut in 1 1/2″ cubes
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
3 tbsp. oil
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large yellow pepper, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. dried apricots, quartered
4 red (or white) potatoes, peeled & diced
1 sweet potato, peeled & diced
2 red chiles, cut in half
2 cups beef broth
1 medium pumpkin
butter, melted
1/2 cup red wine, optional
2 cups frozen corn

Heat oil over med-high heat in pot and brown beef. Set aside briefly. Saute onion, garlic and spices until onion is translucent. Return been to pot. Add tomatoes, red pepper, pepper, salt, apricts, potatoes and broth. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Scoop seeds and membrane out of pumpkin. Brush melted butter on the inside and season with salt and pepper.

Stir wine and corn into stew and ladel it into the pumpkin shell. Place pumpkin in a shallow pan and bake at 350-degrees for 1 hour, or until pumpkin is tender. Place pumpkin in a bowl in case it has any holes. Scoop out pumpkin as you ladel it into bowls.

Serves 6-8.

It still was sweet, as it was supposed to be, but I liked that the changes I made cut down on it, and that I didn’t get unexpected globs of apricot. Quartering them, however, made them melt, so halving them next time would probably be better. Also, I used up a yellow pepper in my original, but a red would give you similar results and look a whole lot better.

Buy One, Get One Free Chuck Roast Deal

Just in time for stew season, a friend of mine told me to today that QFC (Bremerton, Belfair and Port Orchard) stores are running a buy one, get one free chuck roast special. Apparently it’s going to run through Tuesday.

For anyone who ends up getting any, or if you have stew meat ready for the making, I’m going to have a post coming later this week (probably on Wednesday) on a little stew experiment. The experiement turned out pretty well, and it didn’t explode or anything! But that’s all I’ll tell you for now. Gotta get you coming back …