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Belgian Beef Stew with Beer and Sauerkraut

3 lb Stew Meat, Lean -- cut in 1 1/2 " cubes
Flour For Dredging
3 tb Vegetable Oil
2 tb Vegetable Oil -- if needed
2 lg Onions -- peel & thinly sliced
2 Garlic Cloves -- peeled and minced
Salt And Pepper, Freshly ground -- to taste
1 1/2 c Beer
2 lb Sauerkraut, Rinsed And squeezed Dry
2 ts Marjoram
2 tb Dark Brown Sugar
1 ts Celery Seed
1 Bay Leaf
3/4 c Green Olives -- pitted and sliced
1 c Cream -- optional
1/2 c Parsley, Flat Leaf (Garnish) finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Dredge meat in flour. Heat 3 Tbs of oil in a heavy casserole with a cover or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add only enough meat to cover bottom of the pan without crowding and brown it on all sides, scraping and turning the cubes so they don't burn. Remove meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl, and continue until all meat is browned, adding fresh oil as needed.

If the oil has burned or more oil is needed, add the remaining 2 Tbs of oil to the pot and, when it is hot, add the onions and cook for 6 to 7 mins more, stirring frequently until they are light brown and soft. Stir in garlic.

Add the meat, salt, pepper, beer, sauerkraut, marjoram, brown sugar, celery seed, bay leaf, and olives and stir to mix well. Cover and transfer the casserole to a preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.

After the meat is tender, remove the bay leaf, skim off any excess fat, and stir in cream, if desired. Add the chopped parsley and serve with noodles or boiled potatoes. If you want to make this ahead for freezing, do not add the cream until after defrosting.

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