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Dutch Beef Stew with Bockbier & Winter Vegetables

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Dutch Beef Stew with Bockbier & Winter Vegetables

Dutch Beef Stew

Photo © Karin Engelbrecht
This winter stew with beef and root vegetables ('runderstoofpotje met bokbier en wintergroenten') is enriched with 'bockbier'. This reddish-brown seasonal beer, (called 'bokbier' in Dutch) is popular in the fall and winter months in the Netherlands, and is not only great for drinking but also adds a bittersweet malty flavor to your cooking. If you can't find Dutch bockbier where you live, substitute it with brown ale.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 as a main.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions
  • 1 1/2 lb (725 g) carrots ('winterpeen')
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 lb (500 g) waxy potatoes
  • 2 lb (1 kg) stewing beef ('runderriblappen'), cubed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 bottle Dutch bockbier (or brown ale)
  • 1 pint beef stock (500 ml)
  • 1/2 cup (20 g) celery leaf, chopped

Preparation:

Peel the onions and carrots and slice into rings. Wash the leeks and slice into rings, using only the white parts. Peel and quarter the potatoes.

Put the beef cubes into a plastic freezer bag, along with the flour and seasonings. Knot the bag and toss to coat the meat well.

In a Dutch oven, heat half the butter and all of the oil and brown the meat on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

Add the rest of the butter to the pot and fry the onions and leeks until soft and translucent. Add the meat back to the pot, along with the carrots, potatoes, cloves, bay leaves and mustard. Pour in the brown beer and beef stock. Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and allow to stew gently over a low heat for three hours.

Sprinkle with celery leaf and serve in bowls, with plenty of crusty bread to mop up the broth.

TIPS:

  • Celery leaf is commonly used as a herb here in Holland (it is called selderieblad in Dutch). If it's hard to find where you live, simply buy a bunch of celery and use the tender interior leaves. It won't be quite as green, but it will taste pretty much the same.
  • Stews are a fantastic way to use up leftover bits and bobs in the fridge. So, if you have extra root veggies that need to be used up before they turn, feel free to throw them in.
  • This dish can easily be prepared a day in advance and heated up when needed. As with most stews, it's even better the next day.
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