Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beef and Beer Vegetable Soup

Today was COLD!  If you looked at the temperature, it wasn't that bad, but there was a pretty strong wind, and it cut you to the bone.  This morning, as I walked outside to feed the cats, I got the first dose of the chilliness.  That was enough to have me thinking of this recipe all the way into work.  I knew right away, it was a soup kind of day, so then it was just a matter of deciding what type.  Last week my husband brought home a 6 pack of Budweiser Black Crown lager.  Since I am not a huge beer fan, I decided to cook with it.  I made a nice beer batter for walleye, and thought it would be great in a soup.  Of course, the most well-known beer soup is Beer Cheese, but I was not in the mood for that.  In my half hour drive, it came to me:  beef, beer, potatoes, red onions and mushrooms.  By the time I pulled into the parking lot, I could almost taste it. 

As the day wore on, I had to go out in the cold a couple more times, and just never could get really warm after that.  That only made me hungrier for soup.  When I sat down to make my list for the grocery store, I decided to throw in some shallots, garlic and celery.  I debated whether I should add carrots and almost bought a bag of baby ones, but remembered that I had half a bag of shredded carrots at home.  That would definitely work, plus they would cook quickly.  Perfect!  To borrow a line from an old tv show, I love it when a plan comes together!

Here's your Cast of Characters.

10-12 Medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 - 1 1/2 Lbs. beef stew meat, cut in bite-size pieces
1 Large red onion, diced
1 Large shallot, diced
3 Stalks celery, cleaned and chopped
3 Large cloves garlic, diced
5 Oz. shredded carrots
1 Box sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 - 32 Oz. cartons beef broth
1 Bottle of good lager or ale (I used Budweiser Black Crown lager)
2 Cups potato water (reserved from boiled potatoes)
2 Tablespoons Lawry's seasoning salt
1 Tablespoon beef bouillon granules
2 Teaspoons, each, Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb seasoning blend andf McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic & Herb seasoning blend
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
2 Small or 1 large bay leaf
McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning

Once you have your potatoes cut into bite-size chunks,

cover with water and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet (about 2 tablespoons), on medium heat.  Add meat and sprinkle generously with all the seasonings (not the measured amounts).

Add onion, shallots and celery. 

Cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. 

Next add garlic, mushrooms and carrots.

Cook another 5 minutes, stirring every so often.

Transfer to a large pot and add broth, beer, water, potatoes and seasonings.

Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium, maintaining a simmer, for about 30 - 45 minutes, until meat and vegetables are done.

Serve with a nice loaf of warm, crusty bread.