It’s Thursday y’all! And this weekend is Labor Day weekend. How in the world did that happen?? Summer has just flown by and it’ll be cooler weather around here before we know it. Well, if we’re being honest, it probably won’t get much cooler around here until November. But cooler than 100 degrees is cooler nonetheless,even if only to 90 degrees. With the cooling fall and winter weather, however, comes the desire for warm, comfort foods. And thanks to this months What’s Baking challenge, that’s exactly what I’ll be sharing with you!! Ali from Sparks from the Kitchen is our August host and her challenge was for us to bake something that represents our heritage.
- 1 1/2 pounds stewing beef, such as chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 tsp flour (I used white wheat flour)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 cup beef broth
- 24 oz Guinness beer
- 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 Tbsp A.1. Steak Sauce
- 1 Tbsp rosemary, chopped
- 1 Tbsp thyme, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 sheet good-quality puff pastry (allow to thaw while you are cooking the beef)
- Place the beef chunks in a large bowl, sprinkle the flour over the top and toss or stir to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the meat, in batches if necessary to not overcrowd, and cook until browned on all sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, along with the onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Return the meat to the pan, then add the stock or broth, Guinness, canned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, and chopped herbs and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- Spoon the mixture into a 7-inch-diameter ovenproof pot or casserole dish** (round, square, oval…shape doesn’t matter). Allow to cool while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush the top edge of the pot or dish with water, then gently place the sheet of pastry over the stew, pinching the pastry against the edge of the pot or pie dish to seal. You can crimp the pastry to form a decorative edge, if you so desire.)
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the pastry is risen and golden brown. Serve immediately while still hot.
** I took my dish and placed it top-side down on the puff pastry – before filling it – and used a knife to cut about 1/2-inch extra in the shape of the dish, for better fitting.