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Belgian Beef Stew

3 lb Lean stewing beef cut into 1 1/2-in cubes
Flour for dredging
5 tb Vegetable oil
2 lg Onions peeled and thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves peeled and minced
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
12 oz Beer
2 lb Sauerkraut rinsed and squeezed dry
2 tb Marjoram
2 tb Dark brown sugar
1 ts Celery seed
1 Bay leaf
3/4 c Pitted green olives, sliced
1 c Cream (optional)
1/2 c Minced flat-leaf parsley for garnish


PREHEAT OVEN TO 325F. Dredge the meat in flour. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven. Add only enough meat to cover the bottom of the pan without crowding and brown on all sides, scraping and turning the cubes so that they don't burn. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl, and continue until all the meat is browned, adding fresh oil as needed. If the oil has burned or more oil is needed, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pot. When it is hot, add the onions and cook for 6-to-7 minutes more, stirring frequently until they are light brown and soft. Stir in the 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 the 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 the cream, if desired. Add the parsley.


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