Roggenfest Beef Stew

Terrence usually cooks most of our meals. Today he last minute decided to go for a hike and asked if I could handle the beef stew. Not being able to do anything easy, I decided to go crazy and concoct a more interesting stew.

I had a growler of Flagship Brewery‘s Roggenfest in the fridge and thought they would make a nice pair. I think I was right. The following recipe isn’t intended to have a strong beer flavor, I was aiming for subtle. I hope you try it… and love it. So far the critics in my house are fans.

24 oz. Flagship Brewery’s Roggenfest
2 1/2 pounds stew meat (chuck / short ribs)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
2-3 Leeks, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
4 cups Beef Stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 red potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
Dust the meat with the flour. Heat the oil and butter in the dutch oven over high heat, add the meat in small batches, remove to a plate as you finish browning. Reduce heat to low and sweat the leeks and celery in the leftover meat juices. Add the mushrooms and garlic, saute for about 3 minutes. Add back the stew meat. Pour in the beer and beef stock (add water if more liquid is needed, you want the fluids to come about an inch above the meat). Increase heat slightly, still keeping it  fairly low. Add the bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, sugar, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Increase heat to medium. Add carrots and potatoes, leave uncovered for 30 minutes (or until your carrots and potatoes are done).
Taste as you go along and adjust your seasonings as needed.
Adapted from: 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondies.

Third attempt, the defining batch.

When my girlfriends and I gather together for a night of dirty talk and television we like to have dinner and dessert. For a while we were meeting weekly and ordering up a new treat each time. On this particular night I had an intense craving for blondies, so I met up early with Amanda and went over to our favorite spot for tasty treats. You guys, they had never heard of a blondie. Seriously. After we explained it to them they still looked confused… and then offered us brownies. FIVE bakeries later, all with the same resulting interactions, not only did we feel like kicking brownies in the junk, but we were very disappointed with Staten Islands bakery community. We even called a few restaurants that we thought might have them listed on their dessert menus, they were just as confused and brownie pushing. We were getting annoyed, so we started a fruitless tour of supermarkets. Just as we were about to give up and make cookies I decided to try my hand at baking blondies from scratch.

I quickly pulled up a couple of recipes on my phone and devised a plan of action. When we finally all met up, we told the girls about our adventure. They also gave us perplexed looks… they’d never heard of blondies either. What’s wrong with society these days, blondies are AMAZING.

My first attempt that night tasted ok but I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the results, after more tweaking and one more try I had settled on a recipe that I stand by. Blondies have actually become somewhat of a tradition amongst our inner circle, they’re expected. I’m even baking a couple dozen for our engagement party next weekend. My mother and I will be cooking our asses off in a couple of days, this should be fun.

First attempt, not yet perfected.

  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (I use Kosher salt crushed with a mortar and pestle)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup diced walnuts
  • Recipe adapted from here.

    Happy nomming,