Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Beef Braised in Beer (Brasato alla Birra)

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Another holiday recipe I decided to try out is Lidia's Braised Beef in Beer. The recipe is basically a three step process so it was a good choice for this holiday season where the degree of cooking is in the stratospheric level for most families. As I was the sole cook, I had to come up with recipes that were both simple and yet, delicious. The recipe actually reminds me of Beef Goulash in a way. The main difference lies in what was used to flavor this dish. My choice of beer is the local dark ale, San Miguel Cerveza Negra. 2 bottles were enough to flavor the meat during the braising process. I actually did the braising part in a pressure cooker so the cooking time was reduced to just under an hour as opposed to 3 hours. I used large chunks of beef and sliced them thinly prior to serving. It was delicious. 

Beef Braised in Beer - Adapted*

4-5 lbs beef chuck
4 oz bacon, diced
2 tbsp garlic, minced
2 large onions, diced finely
2 bottles of dark ale
flour for dredging
salt and pepper
6 cups beef broth
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp thyme, dried
4 tbsp olive oil

1. Coat the beef pieces with the flour. Meanwhile, in a large pot over 
    medium high heat, brown the bacon until it has rendered its fat and is 
    crisp. Spoon out the bacon and set aside. 

2. Tap off the excess flour and brown the beef in batches on all sides on 
    the bacon fat. Set aside. 

3. Add the olive oil and saute the garlic and onions. Season with salt and 
    pepper. Continue to cook until softened. Return the bacon pieces and the 
    thyme. Cook for another minute. 

4. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Drop the browned meat carefully into 
    the broth and add the beer. Bring to a rolling boil and cover. Lower the 
    heat to low and continue to simmer for about 2-3 hours or until the meat 
    is tender. 

5. Once the meat is tender, add the mustard and check for flavor. Adjust 
    accordingly. Simmer for another 10 minutes. 

6. To serve, slice the meat pieces into thin slices. Fan out the meat pieces on
    a large tray and drizzle the sauce over it. Serve the remaining sauce on 
    the side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.

* Lidia's Italy: Beef Braised in Beer (Brasato alla Bira). 

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