~ your hostess, but not looking her best, admittedly ~For our very first dinner party as newly weds, I turned to the Queen of British cooking, Delia Smith for help. Her recipes are straight forward and easy to follow. Our guests loved it and continue to eat with us every few months or so; proof in the pudding, as it were.
Beef in Beer
2 lb (900g) chuck steak, cut in to 2" (5cm) squares
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 oz onions (350g), quartered then separated into layers
1 well heaped tablespoon plain flour
15 fl oz light ale (425ml)
1 sprig thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
salt and freshly milled black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275F, 140C
Heat the oil in a large flame proof casserole until sizzling hot then sear the meat in it ~ just a few pieces at a time ~ till they become a dark mahogany brown all over. As the pieces brown, remove them to a plate, then add the onions to the casserole and, with the heat still high, toss them around until brown at the edges. Now return the meat to the casserole together with any juices. Add the flour, turn the heat down, and using a wooden spoon stir it around to soak up all the juices. It will look rather stodgy and unattractive at this stage but that's quite normal.
Next gradually stir in the light ale and, while everything slowly comes up to simmering point, add the thyme, bay leaf, crushed garlic and some salt and freshly milled black pepper.
As soon as it begins to simmer, stir thoroughly, put on a tight-fitting lid and transfer the casserole to the middle shelf of the oven.
Cook at a gentle simmer for 2 and a half hours. Don't take the lid off and have a taste half-way because, early on, the beer hasn't had time to develop into a delicious sauce; the beautiful aroma will make you very hungry, but please leave it alone!
Serve with mashed potatoes and red cabbage.
Your next stop on the Hop is Stephanie and the beginning of the dessert recipes. Should you lose your way, you'll find a full list of participants in Deb's kitchen. Don't forget to tell her I sent you.