STEW RECIPES: French Lentil Stew . . . Slow-Cooker Beef and Guinness Stew
By: Herald Wire Reports,
French Lentil Stew
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 small celery stalk, cut into ¾- inch pieces
3 or 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or chopped canned plum tomatoes
1 cup French lentils, rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ cup coarse bulgur wheat
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup sour cream, creme fraiche or plain yogurt, for garnish
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
Melt butter in a large soup pot set over medium heat. Stir in onions, celery and garlic; cover pot and cook vegetables without browning for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in curry powder and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, raise the heat to high, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir lentils into pot.
Add broth and 3 cups of water, and bring to a simmer. Add bay leaf, partially cover pot, and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
Stir in bulgur wheat and continue to simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender and bulgur is tender-firm, about 10 minutes more. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Stir up to 2 tablespoons lemon juice into stew and serve it in a warm terrine or bowls. Stir sour cream to liquefy it slightly and drizzle about 1 tablespoon over top of each serving. Give each a good grind of pepper, sprinkle with scallions and serve very hot.
Yield: Serves 6.
Slow-Cooker Beef and Guinness Stew
3 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed, cut into 1½-inch pieces
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 14.9-ounce can Guinness Draught beer or 1¾ cups Guinness Extra Stout
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14½ can beef broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 small sprigs fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
1 pound small red boiling potatoes, halved
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
½ small rutabaga, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 17-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package (optional)
Pat beef dry with paper towels. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Add the beef; toss to coat well with the flour. Reserve remaining seasoned flour.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add beef in batches in a single, uncrowded layer. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add onion to skillet; cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add Guinness and garlic; boil 1 minute, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Add mixture to slow cooker.
Add broth, parsley, bay and thyme to slow cooker. Cover; cook on low until meat is almost tender, 2½ to 3 hours. Sprinkle in reserved seasoned flour; stir. Add potatoes, carrots and rutabaga. Cover; cook on high until tender, about 1 hour. Taste pan juices; adjust seasonings.
If serving stew with pastry crust, heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut pastry sheets into quarters. Place on 2 baking sheets; pierce several times with a fork. Bake until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Spoon a portion of hot stew into individual dishes. Top with a pastry square.
Note: To cook stew in oven, transfer browned meat and onion mixture to a large Dutch oven. Proceed with recipe as directed; cook, tightly covered, in a 325-degree oven until meat is fork-tender, about 2 hours. Add vegetables, cover pot and return to oven until vegetables are tender, about 1 hour.
Yield: Serves 8.