The story below , about Paul Royko’s woodwork art going to the Barkside Bistro, reminded Brian Hickey of a collection of excellent recipes he had. They were compiled and tested by Paul, who included cooking among his many skills. Brian sent the recipes to me and I have decided to release them here, from time to time.
Here’s the first. Others will follow, about a month apart. BTW, Obi-Wan Pierogi was a nickname Paul received, honouring his Ukrainian heritage.
Belgian Beer Stew (Download PDF here)
This Belgian dish is basically beer, beef and onions, with dumplings thrown in as a bonus. The long cooking time means that it is best made with the less expensive cuts of beef, like rump or round.
- 4 pounds lean beef (rump or round), cut into 1/2inch slices
- 2 pounds large onions, thickly sliced
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth
- 24 ounces beer
Dumpling batter (see below)
Preheat the oven to 325∘ F. Cut beef into pieces about 1 inch by 2 inches. Flour them lightly and brown, a few at a time, in hot oil in a skillet then place them in a large ovenproof casserole (6 to 8quart size). Add onions and garlic to the oil in the skillet and brown lightly, adding more oil if necessary, then put them in the casserole along with sugar, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Stir once or twice.
Pour off any remaining oil in the skillet. Pour in the broth and heat over low heat, stirring to loosen all the browned bits. Pour over mixture in the casserole. Add beer, cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 2 hours. Transfer the casserole to the stovetop. Stir in the remaining vinegar and cook over medium heat until the sauce bubbles.
Drop dumpling batter by teaspoonfuls on top of the hot stew. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 15 minutes. Do not remove cover during these 15 minutes.
- 2 cups sifted self-rising cake flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Combine all ingredients, mixing lightly.