To make sue the beef browns well, dry the pieces thoroughly with paper towels. Don’t bother making this stew with a light-colored beer – both the color and flavor will e insipid. I particularly liked Newcastle Brown Ale, Anchor Steam, and Chimay. For those who like a heavier beer, with a slightly bitter flavor, porter and stout are good. Top-blade steaks are cut from the shoulder area of the cow. They are tender, but each steak has a line of gristle running down the center that should be removed. Top-blade steaks are often called flatiron steaks or blade steaks.
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- 3-3 1/2 pounds top-blade steaks, gristle removed and steaks cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds medium onions, halved and sliced thin
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic-press
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1.2 cups dark beer
- 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Dry the beef thoroughly with paper towels, then season it generously with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the meat so that the individual pieces are close together but not touching. Cook. not moving the pieces until the sides touching the pot are well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tings, turn each piece and continue cooking until most sides are well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the beef to a medium bowl, add another 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pot, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Brown the remaining beef; transfer the meat to the bowl and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the now-empty Dutch oven, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally and vigorously, scraping the pot bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits, until the onions have released some moisture, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping the pot bottom, until the onions are limp, softened, and lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir until the onions are evenly cooked.
Stir in the broth, scraping the pot bottom and edges with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Gradually add the beer, stirring constantly and scraping tthe panedges to dissolve the flour. add the thyme, bay leaf, sugaar, and vinegar along with the browned beef and accimulated juices, pushing down on the beef to submerge the pieces; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste,m bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Cook until the beef is fork-tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and discaard the bay leaf. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
The stew can be covered and refridgerated for several days. Bring back to a simmer over medium–low heat.