Beef Stew with Thyme and Ale is simple to prepare, and offers full bodied flavor from fresh herbs, a bottle of your favorite pale ale, and a long, lazy, simmer -- perfect for Sundays when it's just too cold to do anything but snuggle up with your kids.
Paper lunch bags
All purpose flour
each, thyme, cracked black pepper, garlic salt
Top round or blade chuck roast (cut into 1/2" chunks)
Double up the sandwich bags by placing one bag inside the other and opening them both. Add the flour, dried thyme, garlic salt, and black pepper into the bag. Close and shake the bag to mix the ingredients. Add the beef cubes to the bag and shake until all are well coated with the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a large dutch oven (we just use our "spaghetti pot"), heat 1 tbs. of olive oil on medium and saute the onions, carrots and celery until the onions are translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside. Adjust the heat to med/low and add the remaining 3 tbs. of olive oil. Remove the beef cubes from the bag, shaking off any excess flour, and add, in a single layer, to the hot oil. Increase the heat to medium and brown the beef cubes on all sides. Add the garlic and stir to incorporate. Immediately add the bottle of ale and deglaze as much of the pan as possible, scraping up any brown bits. Add the thyme, oregano, and bay leaves. Add the beef broth.
Cover and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, covered. Add the onions/carrots/celery back to the pot. Add the potatoes and simmer on low for another hour. This can continue to simmer on low until ready to serve. If too much liquid has evaporated during cooking, add a 1/2 cup of beef broth at a time to thin out the broth. Add the peas to the pot 10 minutes before serving.
Quick method: Instead of a chuck roast, use a super tender cut of beef. Follow all directions through to adding the beef broth. After adding the beef broth, cook for 10 minutes on medium/medium-high. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the remainder of the ingredients and return the onions/carrots/celery back to the pan. Simmer for another 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Add the peas and warm through (about 3 minutes). Serve.