Make Ahead

Licorice Root and Malt Beer Beef Stew

February  3, 2010
6 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I live in a country of licorice lovers, myself being a very avid fan. Therefore you can imagine how excited I was, when I was served a dish that contained licorice root. It really adds something extra to the dish along with the malt beer, and is perfect for dinner parties as it is taking care of itself once on the stove. Serve with mashed potatoes/ other root vegetables and/or crusty bread. - Mettch —Mettch

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a beef stew whose aromatics are as robust as the beef itself. Balsamic vinegar, prunes, red pepper flakes, bay leaf, rosemary, licorice root and malt beer are added to the stew in stages, and by the time the beef is tender, you've got a sauce that's sweet, herbal and remarkably intense. Mettch calls for cherry or balsamic vinegar -- use whatever you can find; she also lists "macerated prunes" so we covered prunes in brandy an hour before making the stew; licorice root is available in most health food stores; and if you can't find malt beer, use a rich wheat beer instead. - A & M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds beef or veal; cheeks, chuck or foreshank
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 celery branches
  • 1 garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup cherry or balsamic vinegar
  • 7 ounces slightly macerated prunes
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 4 bay leafs
  • 4 rosemary branches
  • 4 inces licorice root
  • 4.5 cups beef stock or water
  • 3 cups malt beer
  • sugar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Remove all tendons and fat from the meat. If the pieces are very large, cut them into smaller ones. Pat the meat dry, and then season. generously with salt and pepper and let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour, preferable overnight.
  2. Chop onions, celery, garlic and carrots into smaller pieces.
  3. Dredge the meat in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the butter in a large and deep pan and brown the meat on all sides. Make sure not to crowd the pan. When meat is browned transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the vegetables and chili and saute until it starts to change color.
  6. Add vinegar to the vegetables and cook until almost all of the vinegar has evaporated.
  7. Add back the meat as well as the prunes, bay leafs, rosemary and licorice root. Finally add stock/water and the malt beer.
  8. Bring to a simmer and skim off any fat.
  9. Cover and let simmer for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender and falling apart by itself. Skim off fat, should there be some.
  10. Remove the meat from the put and keep it warm. Also remove bay leaf, rosemary and licorice root.
  11. Pass the sauce through a sieve and reduce until you think its consistency is as you prefer it. Add sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar in quantities according to you taste.
  12. You can choose to either add the "old" vegetables or add some new ones to the sauce. In any case, add the prunes and the meat and heat thoroughly.
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14 Reviews

Jenine June 19, 2017
Hello! Does the recipe call for 4 inches of licorice root, or 4 ounces? It say inces, which could likely be either. Please clarify as I would love to give this a go. I am fortunate enough to have a lot of licorice growing on my property. Thanks!
Michelle L. May 9, 2020
Ticketytwo October 17, 2015
This was delicious. I was able to continue cooking it the next day because I had to run out. I added the carrots and Yukon gold potatoes afterwards. I did take the prunes out afterwards. I love prunes, just not cooked.
Ticketytwo October 11, 2015
I'm making this now but I'm running out of time and will only be able to simmer 3 hours. Is it possible to store the whole thing in the fridge with the liquid and continue cooking the next day?
Kathy January 18, 2014
Wonder if venison meat will work, bet I find out.
Victoria C. December 2, 2010
This looks completely delicious. I LOVE licorice and make an ice cream using licorice tea, which has a very subtle taste of licorice and is a beautiful fawn color. I suspect liking licorice is linked to a gene as there ARE countries where people love it - Denmark, Holland, Australia, even Italy. When someone tells me they like licorice except for the black kind, I tell them that other stuff isn't licorice, it's gummy candy.

I am making this on Saturday! Thanks.
Oui, C. February 16, 2010
This sounds fabulous, I can't wait to try it! The addition of licorice root is inspired.
Jennifer P. February 14, 2010
What a wonderful combination of flavors.
Jennifer A. February 13, 2010
I am really happy you posted this recipe. The combination of ingredients here are really unique to any of the stews I have ever come across in my collection of cookbooks, and include some of my favorites (I love macerated dried fruits in savory dishes). Will try as soon as I can find the licorice root.
Sugartoast February 12, 2010
Thanks for this recipe, I can't wait to try it! The beef & licorice combination reminds me of a braised beef shank / tendon stew that my mother used to make. She used star anise and white turnips, braised the beef slowly, and served it on the "soupy" side over wide rice noodles.
Food B. February 11, 2010
Licorice, beer, and balsamic vinegar all in the same stew? This may just have become my all-time favorite stew, and I haven't even tasted it yet.
testkitchenette February 11, 2010
mangolisa February 11, 2010
gorgeous. Perfect valentine's day stay in dinner too since licorice is an aphrodisiac! Will give this a try using Belgian dark beer :-)
TasteFood February 11, 2010
Tillykke - det lyder meget lækkert!
My licorice-loving family will love this recipe!