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Flemish Beef Stew Cooked in Beer

4 lb Beef stew meat; 2" cubes
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
2 tb Flour; to 3 tb
3 tb Unsalted butter; to 4 tb
3 lg Onions; thinly sliced
24 oz Belgian beer
2 Sprigs thyme; to 3 sprigs
2 Bay leaves
1 1/2 tb Red currant jelly
1 tb Red wine vinegar

Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Shake off any excess.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add beef cubes and saute until nicely browned on all sides. Work in batches so as not to crowd beef cubes or they will steam instead of saute. Add another tablespoon of butter, if needed. Transfer beef to a heavy Dutch oven.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same skiller over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 15 minutes. Combine onions and meat in Dutch oven.

Add beer to skillet. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.

Pour beer over meat. Add thyme and bay leaves. Simmer, covered, over low heat until meat is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Just before serving, stir in jelly and vinegar; simmer for 5 minutes. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Taste, adding more salt and pepper if needed.

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