⁂ George Ho

Beef Stew with Maple, Tomato and Stout




  1. Season the beef with salt, and dust with flour. Sear in vegetable oil in a hot pan, working in batches if necessary.
  2. Deglaze the pan with beef broth. Add everything except the parsnips (beef, the rest of the vegetables, fond, herbs, maple syrup, tomato paste, beer, beef broth) to a cold Dutch oven. Add more beer or beef broth as need to cover the ingredients by half an inch. Season with 2 teaspoons of salt and a generous amount of pepper.
  3. Heat in a cold oven, uncovered, at 200°F/93°C. Carefully manage the temperature of the stew so that it warms to 120°F/50°C. Anectotally and for reference, a full Dutch oven will reach this temperature in 1½ hours. Maintain the stew below 120°F/50°C for 1 to 2 hours, taking the Dutch oven out of the oven if necessary.
  4. Raise the temperature of the oven to 250°F/120°C so the stew slowly warms to 180°F/80°C. Maintain that temperature.
  5. After 1 hour in step 4, add the parsnips to the Dutch oven and check the beef every 30 minutes. As soon as the muscle fibers of the beef are easily pulled apart with a fork (a.k.a. “fork tender”), take the stew off the heat. Expect this to take 2 to 4 hours, on top of the 1 hour. Let the beef cool in the stew; it will reabsorb some liquid.
  6. Remove the beef. Bring the liquid to a boil and let it simmer. Periodically spoon out some liquid, let cool for a few seconds, and taste: be sure to spoon out enough to cover your entire mouth. Simmer to the desired flavor and consistency. Season to taste.
  7. If possible, refridgerate overnight. The chilled fat will rise to the surface and solidify. Skim it off with a spoon before reheating.
  8. To reheat, take care not to continue cooking the beef. Remove the beef, bring the liquid to a boil, return the beef, remove from the heat and let the liquid temperature fall to 140°F/60°C. Maintain that temperature until the beef is heated through.

Cooking Notes