Beer Stew

Posted on December 18, 2011


It’s cold outside.  Not in that nostalgic snow day kind of way either.  It’s just that inconvenient kind of cold where you begin piling on the layers, thinking of excuses to avoid any social engagement that requires leaving your home, and start wondering if it’s possible to teach your dog to use a litter box.  Ok, I’m exaggerating a little.  This is December in Michigan after all.  We’ve got months of increasingly cold, snowy weather to look forward to yet.  Still, it is getting pretty chilly out, and I’m in the mood for something truly warming.  Enter, Beer Stew.

I don’t really use a recipe when I make this dish, so the quantities here are estimates.  Feel free to follow them exactly or change things up as you go along.  Just be sure to check into the beer you choose if making this savory delight for a vegan or vegetarian.  If you aren’t sure which varieties are acceptable, check out this great list over at the Barnivore.

  • 1 beer of choice (I prefer bottles to cans, and usually choose a Leinenkugel, most of which are vegan.)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
  • a dollop of extra virgin olive oil (about  2 Tbsp)
  • 4 cups of mixed vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces (For stew I recommend root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, and soft squashes like zucchini.  Cooking greens like kale or collards will work too, but delicate greens like spinach should only be added right before serving.)
  • 4 cups broth (beef, chicken, mushroom, or any non-tomato based vegetarian broth)
  • 3-4 Tbsp wheat flour

Open your beer and set it on the stove top (but not on the burner) while you prep the other ingredients.  Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot, add the onions and saute for five minutes or so, just until they begin to soften.  Throw in the garlic and other veggies and give everything a quick toss.  Cook for three or four minutes more, stirring occasionally.  Add the beer and broth and cover.  When the whole thing starts to bubble turn the heat down to a simmer and let it cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the larger pieces of vegetable can be pierced easily with a fork.  In a small bowl or prep cup combine the flour with an equal amount of water and stir until smooth.  (Add more water if the mixture is too doughy.)  Pour this mixture slowly into the stew while stirring gently with a whisk.  It should start to thicken up right away, but I suggest letting it cook for five or ten more minutes before you turn off the heat.  Once the stew cools to a non-scalding temperature, enjoy it with crusty bread or homemade biscuits.

I wish you could smell how delicious this is...

Posted in: Cooking, Recipes