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Bourbon, Beer and Beef Stew

Waking up this morning I was greeted by a gleaming white wonderland outside. It had snowed nearly a foot overnight, and the city looked bright and shiny with it's newly minted facade. Being a relative newbie to the whole concept of snow, I was excited to go romp around the neighborhood and decided t
Course Entree, Soups & Stews
Cuisine American
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Beef
Diet Dairy-Free, Low Sugar

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 inch cube salted pork fat (a.k.a. fatback)
  • 2 pounds beef chuck
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 can beer (chug the other half)
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (or ketchup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 2 large russet potatoes cut into large chunks
  • 2 large carrots cut into large chunks
  • 1 cups frozen green peas

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork fat into 1/4" cubes and add them to a large enameled cast iron pot. Put the pot over medium heat and let the fat render out. While that's doing its thing, dry off any extra moisture on the beef. Toss the meat with the salt and pepper, then dust it with the flour, tossing to coat evenly
  2. When most of the fat has rendered out of the pork, add 1 layer of beef to the pot. Let this fry for about 4 5 minutes or until you get a nice crispy brown coating on the beef. This brown stuff is where all the flavor is, so more brown = better. Flip and brown the other side. Transfer the cooked beef back to the plate your uncooked beef is on (don't worry it's all going to get cooked more later) and repeat with the rest of the beef
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and fry until soft and very brown (10 15 minutes). Again, brown = better. Turn up the heat to high and add the bourbon (you can light it with a match to satisfy the pyromaniac in you, but it's not necessary). Add the beer and stock and bring to a boil. At this point you could skim off the fat and scum that floats up, but I didn't have much, and it didn't seem very manly to think about my waistline, so I let it be. Add the tomato paste, bay leaf and juniper berries and salt to taste. Partially cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 1 hour
  4. Add the vegetable and continue cooking for about another hour or until the meat and vegetable are tender. Add the peas, heat through and serve with a crusty heel of bread