Tag Archives: beer

beef in beer

bottle of beerI knew there were two rump steaks in the freezer that we brought with us from Somerset – the very last of the Dexter beef.  There’s no way we’d ever eat a whole steak nowadays – it’s just not the sort of meal we have – so I decided, that in light of the chilly weather, we might have a steak pudding tomorrow.  (Pete is not offally fond (sorry) of kidney, so we never have that in a pud).

I want to make the pudding in the slow cooker; it’s much easier, never boils dry, and can be left while we go out, but in my experience they work better if the filling is pre-cooked, so that’s what I did this morning.

I normally make a base of carrot and celery for a beef casserole, but there was a head of fennel in the fridge (and, indeed, no celery), so I used that, and three carrots.  Chopped into small cubes, and sauteed down in olive oil till softened. Then chopped a large onion and a few cloves of garlic, and some fresh sage leaves, and they got the same treatment.

The steaks were cut into chunks, and browned off – the cats got the trimmings, so they were happy. All of this was put into the slow cooker, and Pete was despatched to buy a bottle of beer; he returned with a bottle of Fursty Ferret from Badger Beers, which seemed appropriate.  I deglazed the meat frying pan with the beer, added a teaspoonful of grain mustard, and a tablespoon of flour, decanted that into the slow cooker, and added salt and black pepper.

I’ll leave it cooking for about six hours – it’s smelling good!

venison stew

I found a pound of chopped venison in the freezer, and decided to cook it up for Sunday lunch.

I cut two large carrots in batons, and fried them off with a dozen peeled shallots, in olive oil with a splash of maple syrup, using my wonderful decades old Le Creuset cast iron pot.  I added a pack of cubed pancetta part way through.

Set these aside, put a tablespoon or so of flour in the pan, and hurled in the venison and stirred it about.  Then in a fit of experimentation, I added about 1/2 pint of banana beer (well, it was all we had), together with juniper berries, peppercorns, a tablespoon each of grain mustard and redcurrant jelly, and some salt.

Returned the veg and pancetta to the casserole, and put it in a very low oven for 3 hours.  Will finish it off today, and eat with dumplings and red cabbage.