Belgian-style beef stew is the perfect solution to the "What can I make once and eat twice?" question. This is a simple and easy recipe that I have been teaching for years to first-time braisers . . . the darker and stronger the Belgian beer, the better, but Samuel Smith's Nut Brown works well also.
2 T. canola oil
2 onions, sliced
3 lbs. beef chuck, cubed and trimmed for stew (arm roasts work great, as do most stewing cuts)
bouquet garni of bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, and 3 parsley sprigs
1 c. beef stock or rich chicken stock
1 bottle (12 oz.) Duvel or other strong dark Belgian beer
10 new potatoes, quartered
2 c. diced carrots
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 T. dijon mustard
2 T. red wine vinegar
Place 1 T. oil in a large Dutch oven or casserole pan over medium heat and brown the onions and garlic, being careful not to scorch them. Remove onions and garlic and add the second T. of oil. Add and brown the beef in batches if need be. Add onions back to pan, add bouquet garni, stock, and beer. Bring to a light boil, cover, and bake in a 325-degree oven for 90 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots, stir, and bake for another 25-30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Gently stir in mustard and vinegar, then remove and discard bouquet garni. Season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, and serve.
This recipe can be done completely on the stovetop as well. Cook at a very light simmer, covered, for the duration of the cooking time. Serves 8.