Finding time to get together with friends can sometimes prove challenging when everyone’s schedules need to converge to make it happen. We made arrangements last month with new friends who have recently moved into our neighbourhood. The lady of that house has just recently found out that she needs to eat gluten-free… after years of struggling with a bad stomach, at 40, cut out gluten and the symptoms cleared up. So when we coordinated on a day, I offered to bring the main meat dish for the meal.
We just filled the freezer up with this years side of beef. We love knowing where our food is coming from. We are very fortunate and grateful to have the ability to raise our own cattle and then get the satisfaction of exceptionally great tasting cuts all year.
Our friend Carla Johnson, has written a great book called ‘Cooking With Sin…Great recipes dipped in alcohol and wrapped in a wonderful story…’ She also has a blog, http://cookingwithsin.com/wp-content/themes/cookingwithsin-newtheme/images/headerad.png.
I know… you are wondering where I am going with this… well Carla wondered if I had a great Gluten Free recipe that featured alcohol (that’s the Sin part of her book!) and whether I could give with her one so that she could share it on her blog. I got to thinking that I could combine my homegrown beef with a some beer, get a nice hearty winter meal AND a blog post at the same time.
I decided to take an existing recipe and adapt it to Gluten Free. The recipe also called for it to be cooked in a crock pot and that the beef be cut into stew sized chunks. I did neither. I did use the slow cooker setting
on my oven, but I hadn’t left quite enough time for that so I ended up finishing it on top of the stove. In the recipe I won’t put the stove option as this step would actually make the recipe more time-consuming and most home cooks are looking for ease these days. Not everyone is interested in slow food…
Beer Braised Beef (Gluten Free)5 slices thick bacon, diced 3 large onions, halved and sliced 2 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp cider vinegar salt black pepper vegetable oil 3-4 lbs round steak, 3/4 inch thick cut in desired portion sizes all-purpose celiac flour or other GF flour 1 bottle, 12 oz, of GF beer or ale 1 cup GF beef stock or other stock or water. 2 tsp dried thyme ( I used more than the original recipe)
Cook the bacon dice until crisp and transfer to paper towels and set aside. Add onions to drippings and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle brown sugar over onions and increase the heat to medium high and cook onions until they are golden, about 8 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer the onion mixture to your baking dish. Large enameled oval roaster works well.
Sprinkle the beef with a bit of salt and the flour. Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef on both sides. Transfer the beef to the roaster on top of the onions. Add the beer and stock to the heated pan and scrape up the brown bits, reduce the liquid a bit, then pour it over the beef in the roaster. Top with the bacon and thyme.
Cook in a 350 over, approx 2 hours. Check after 1.5 hours for desired tenderness. Alternately, you could slow cook for about 8 hours or braise on the top of the stove for about 1.5 hours. More stock would be needed for stove top braising.
When I checked my beef about an hour before we left, I realized that I had not left enough time to use the slow cook setting in my oven. I have a VERY large All Clad straight sided Saute pan so I transferred the beef and liquid to it and braised it on the stove top. The result was great and the liquid cooked down nicely.
The flavours in this dish are considered Flemish… or Belgian… so our friends cooked up Belgian frites(twice cooked) to go with it. I must say the combination was fabulous. Will definitely be adding this one to the cooking roster and with the deep fryer that I hope to be getting for Christmas… I am sure you will be seeing a future post when I start experimenting making fries….yum.