Jacqueline Bisset's Beer Stew
2 lbs. top lean beef (shoulder or steak, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes)
1 tbsp. vegetable shortening
3 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped
2 tbsps. butter (or oleomargarine)
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 large turnips (or parsnips), peeled, cut in coarse dice
Bouquet garni, wrapped in bag (pinch of thyme, large sprig of parsley, large bay leaf)
6 peppercorns, slightly bruised
1 1/2 pints dark beer (or undiluted canned beef broth)
Water as needed.
1. Pre-brown flour-dredged cubes of beef in hot vegetable oil in heavy skillet (or casserole). At the same time brown chopped onion slowly in melted butter (or oleomargarine). Add chopped carrots, turnips (or parsnips); brown slightly.
2. Pour off excess fat from browned beef. Arrange browned beef and vegetables together in one casserole. Add bouquet garni, peppercorns, beer (or canned beef broth) and enough water to cover. Bring to slow simmer; cover, cook slowly about two hrs. (or until meat and vegetables are tender). Add more liquid as needed. Correct seasonings. Thicken stock with flour as desired (not required since stew thickens as it cooks down). Serve as a main course with green salad. Serves 6.
Thoughts: For sweet-sour treatment, add small quantity of sweet spices (ground cinnamon or cloves) to stock, brown sugar (or treacle), twist of lemon (or few tsps. of malt vinegar) to stock during the "stewing."