Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cranberry lambic and root beer braised beef

The young lady who house sits for us loves root beer, so whenever we travel we buy some for her. There is usually some left and I find it too sweet to drink, so I was trying to think of a way to use it. While I was pondering this I remembered Myron bought a sampler of Samuel Adams beers and it included a cranberry lambic. A lambic is a type of beer from Belgium that started out 500 years ago as peasant home brew. The version produced today carries on the coarse and have an unrefined flavor. Fruit is often added to help counter the bitter aftertaste. It is too bitter for me to enjoy, so I wondered what it would be like if I combined the bitter lambic and the sweet root beer. The answer: DELICIOUS!

Ingredients Preparation

1 12oz bottle of root beer

1 12oz bottle of Samuel Adams Cranberry Lambic

1 – 1.5 lb stew beef

2T cooking oil

1t black pepper (for the beef)

1t black pepper (for the sauce)

1t salt (for the beef)

1t salt (for the sauce)

A medium-sized non-reactive pot with a lid in the 4 to 6 quart range. Nonstick is fine, but don’t use unenameled cast iron.

A simmer plate (assuming you’re cooking with gas)

A bowl or plate for holding the beef after browning.

  1. Toss the stew beef with 1t each of black pepper and salt

  2. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature

  3. Heat the oil in the pot over medium-high heat until you see it ripple, about 60 – 90 seconds

  4. Add the beef and brown on all sides

  5. Remove the beef to a bowl or plate

  6. Reduce or turn off the heat so you can put the simmer plate on the burner, then return the heat to medium-high.

  7. Put the pot on the simmer plate and add the root beer and lambic into the pot.

  8. Bring to a boil and use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom

  9. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 - 20 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by a quarter to a third

  10. Add the beef, cover, and reduce the heat to its lowest setting

  11. Leave it to simmer for 90 minutes, stirring a couple of times to make sure there is enough liquid. Add water to keep the beef nearly, but not completely, submerged.

  12. Check it for doneness. You are looking for it to be tender enough that it comes apart when you press it with a spoon, but not so much so that you can see the beef separation simply by stirring it. This will take between and hour and a half and two hours, but you need to start checking early so you don’t overcook it.

  13. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper, adjusting to taste

  14. Serve with rice, pasta – or one of my favorites, Israeli couscous

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! One we can actually recreate!