Ice and Beef Stew

Winter in Texas is honestly a crapshoot. It's either 80 and sunny or colder than the arctic tundra. This year we got early winter temperatures and, my personal favorite (sarcasm)

I lost about 8 large tree limbs during the storm. I can only thank God that none of the huge ones fell on my house. We were also lucky in that we never lost power. Unlike thousands of folks who, 2 days later, are still in the dark. Yes, we are blessed with good fortune on this front.

But in between the screaming to put up the Christmas (Yule) tree and forcing the dog outside I found some time to make a nice, home cooked, comfort-filled meal: Beef Stew.

This stuff is what winter was made for. If you're the type of person who just opens a can of Dinty Moore you honestly have no idea what you're missing. Home-cooked is the way to go! This recipe is NOT low carb nor is it gluten free. But it's full of delicious!

Kate's Beef Stew

1/2 cup +1 TBLSPN butter
1/2 cup flour
1 pound stew meat
4 cups beef broth
1-2 cups raw baby carrots
1-2 medium russet potatoes, washed and cut into 2 inch cubes
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1/4 of a chopped onion, whichever you prefer)
And, finally...
About 1/2 cup dark brew beer

In a large skillet sear the stew meat with 1 TBLSPN butter, onion and garlic powder (if you are opting to use the chopped onion, just sear the meat without it) on high heat. Put meat into a HUGE pot with carrots and potatoes, pay leaf, and 3 cups broth (if using the chopped onion, include in this step) and set aside, off heat. Return to skillet and melt remaining butter on high heat until it begins to foam. Add flour and whisk constantly as mixture forms a smooth past and becomes a dark brown (think mud). CAREFULLY pour remaining 1 cup beef broth into the roux and whisk constantly until a very thick gravy is formed. Remove from heat, add to broth in huge pot and stir. Add 1/2 cup beer and bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes while stirring frequently, then reduce to a slight simmer. Simmer on very low heat for 2 hours or until potatoes and carrots are soft and broth has thickened to desired consistency. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.