Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Meat, meet beer

By JANINE GILBERTSON September 20. 2017 2:37AM
Guinness shaved steak with peppers and onions. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Beer and meat. Meat and beer.

Meat, meet beer.

Beer and meat have been friends for centuries. And while I am not much of a beer drinker, I can appreciate the fine flavor it imparts in a hearty stew or a slow-cooker full of bratwurst.

Since football season is underway and chilly fall nights will soon be a regular thing, this is a great time to explore cooking with beer.

I was recently thinking about ways to change my standard beef stew recipe, pushing a cart through through the grocery store and considering different vegetables to try, when I noticed a display of Guinness Stout. Swapping out water for a dark stout is an excellent way to upgrade a beef stew, so I picked some up.

The rich sweetness and roasted barley flavors made a major upgrade to the stew, which was a big hit with the family.

Since I had some Guinness left over, I got to thinking about what else I could do with it. While cooking up some shaved steak to make steak bombs, I poured some of that spare Guinness into the pan to deglaze it at the end of cooking. This turned out to be a fantastic idea. The meat, which I normally have to season heavily, had a delicious, malty flavor that also seeped into the onions and peppers.

An obvious choice for meat to cook in beer is bratwurst sausage. You can even go to the grocery store and buy bratwurst with beer already in it. I grabbed a couple of packages of plain bratwurst and tossed it in the crockpot with some lager (I used Samuel Adams), leeks and onions and let cook for several hours.

Tucked into a bun with some Dijon mustard, these brats in beer are an easy dish to make, especially if you have a crowd to feed, and everyone will wonder what seasonings you used.

Guinness Shaved Steak with Peppers and Onions

1 lb shaved steak

1 green pepper, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 onion, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup dark beer, such as Guinness Stout

Sub style rolls for serving

Provolone cheese, if desired, for serving

Mustard and mayonnaise, if desired, for serving

Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is heated, add the steak, onions and peppers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and the meat is starting to brown. 

Slowly add the Guinness, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen the browned bits. Cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. 

Remove from heat and serve in sub style rolls, garnishing with cheese, mustard and mayonnaise, if desired.

Beer and beef stew. (JANINE GILBERTSON)

Beer and Beef Stew

2 lbs stew beef

1 lb carrots, peeled and chopped

2 lb red bliss potatoes, chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

1 tbsp beef bouillon, such as Better Than Bouillon

12 oz Guinness Stout

6 cups water

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp butter

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Sprinkle the flour over the beef and toss to coat, then set aside. 

Add the butter to a stockpot set over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the beef and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the meat has browned. 

Slowly add the Guinness, using a spatula to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Bring the stew to a boil, then decrease the heat to low and allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. 

Once the stew has thickened and the vegetables are tender, remove from heat and serve.

Slow Cooker Bratwurst and Leeks in Beer

2 lbs bratwurst

1 leek, sliced

1 sweet onion

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

12 oz beer, such as lager

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Sub rolls

Dijon mustard, if desired, for serving

Add the bratuwurst, leeks, onions, brown sugar, garlic, beer, salt and pepper to a slow cooker. 

Place the lid on the slow cooker and set the heat. If cooking on low, cook for about 7 hours; on high, cook for 3 to 4 hours. 

Once cooked, serve the bratwurst and leeks in sub rolls and garnish with Dijon mustard, if desired.
Bratwurst and leeks slow-cooked in beer make perfect tailgating fare. (JANINE GILBERTSON)



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