A new day, a new year, a new website

After years and years of always making the same New Year resolutions to go on a diet or exercise more, or to be more organized with my papers, or to keep my car neat and clean, I finally have realized that I am who I am and love to cook and to eat, so giving up “all carbs” or “never eating another bowl of caramel corn” are vows I cannot keep.

I do exercise. More is unnecessary. 

Alas, my sloppy desk is, I am sure, a permanent thing.

Ditto, the car. I eat popcorn in my car. Some of it falls out onto the floor. I drive my grandkids around. They discard grain bar wrappers, banana peels and half-done artwork in the back seat. I don’t always get around to tidying up right away.

So be it.

So this year’s resolution was different. I decided to start a new website. And, thanks to my son-in-law Jesse Hertzberg, here it is!

Today is cold and dreary, dark, and about to snow. It’s stew weather. Any kind of stew. For warmth and comfort and filling up. For my new website? A recipe for Beer Braised Beef (you can call it stew).

This recipe is just the right dish for a day like this, and for some months to come.

You might notice that I don’t use stew meat. I get a large chunk of chuck instead, and cut it into big pieces. That’s because most of the time the packages of stew meat at the supermarket contain pieces that are too small. Stew meat shrinks — if you start with pieces that are too small, you wind up with tough little chewy bits rather than tender succulent, meaty nuggets. Also, chuck is the tastiest cut of beef for stew — I recommend it above any other cut.

Beer Braised Beef

  • 6 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbes de provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 12-14 ounces beer or ale
  • 4-6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into chunks
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cut the chuck into large chunks. Combine the flour, paprika, herbes de provence, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a dish. Coat each piece of meat with the flour mixture. Pour the vegetable oil in a large, deep saute pan over medium heat. Working with a few pieces at a time, cook the flour-coated beef for 6-8 minutes, turning the pieces occasionally, or until crispy on several sides. Return all the meat to the pan. Pour in the beer. Cover the pan. Turn the heat to low. Cook for 1-1/2 hours. Add the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and parsley. Cover the pan. Cook at a bare simmer for another hour or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

Makes 8 servings