Beef Stew with Beer and Spices

Beef stew is one of the best dishes to have on a cold winter day. It’s hearty, filling and warming from the inside.
In the stew I have here, I’ve used light beer as the cooking liquid, which gave the stew a unique, deep flavor. Inspired by the Hungarian Goulash soup, I’ve used a generous amount of aromatic and warming sweet and hot paprika, that added a wonderful color and flavor. To this I’ve added some caraway seeds and juniper berries, for an added interesting, earthy-resinous flavor.
To make the stew even heartier, potatoes were added in the last half hour of stewing, to keep them from overcooking and to add another layer of texture. Served with fresh, crusty bread, a bowl of this stew is a tasty whole meal in itself. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* For best results, I recommend using Hungarian paprika in this stew. The amount may seem large, but it adds wonderful color and body to the sauce. Don’t be tempted to use less.
* Caraway seeds are mostly known in the States as a flavoring for Rye bread. However, their warm and earthy flavor complements any meat stew. If you’re partial to their flavor, use a lesser amount in the first time you make the stew, and then adjust according to your taste.
* Though they resemble blueberries in their shape and color, juniper berries are actually not real berries, but a type of seed cone of the juniper bush. They are mainly known for flavoring Gin, but they are also used to flavor meat stews. They can be quite bitter, so make sure not to add more than a few to the pot.

Makes: 2-4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking/braising time: 2 hours

Ingredients:
2 Tbs oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1.3 lbs (600 grams) beef chuck, cut into large cubes
2 Tbs flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbs sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs caraway seeds
4-5 juniper berries, crushed lightly
1 bottle (12oz/356ml) Pilsner beer
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 large potatoes, peeled, large diced

1. Heat the oil in a large flat pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, mix and fry for 2-3 minutes, until the onion softens and starts to brown. Coat the beef with the flour and add to the pot. Add the salt and sugar and let fry for 3-4 minutes, turning the beef cubes once.
2. Add the sweet and hot paprika, black pepper, caraway seeds and juniper berries. Add the beer and vinegar and tilt the pot gently. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

3. Lower the heat to simmer, and simmer for 1 hour, tilting the pot occasionally.
4. Add the potatoes, cover again and braise for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft, but still keep their shape. Uncover the pot, turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.

70 thoughts on “Beef Stew with Beer and Spices

  1. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    I just popped over to look at my reader and there is the lovely beer stew you’ve made. It’s one of my favorite winter meals. Sounds perfect but I would have to add some carrots along with the potatoes of course. The paprika must give it some nice color :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. judilyn says:

    I’ve never liked the taste of beer, but presume that taste is masked by the other ingredients and that only an ambience remains??

    I have had a neighbor’s recipe for Beer Bread for 30+ years, but never have had the gumption to try it. It’s quick and easy, but there never seems to be such a thing as beer in the house, so it would require a special purchase at the grocery store. I’m pretty sure they have single bottles in the refrigerated case, so that might be an option. Since it was under thirty degrees here at eight o’clock this morning, sounds like it is definitely beef stew weather, even in Arizona !!!

    Virtual hugs,
    
    Judie
    

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Beer is indeed an acquired taste, but as it comes in so many varied types, it could be that you just didn’t taste the right one for you. They do sell individual bottles of beer, so it’s easier to experiment with. In the stew I’ve used Pilsner, which is a light one both in color and flavor.
      As for beer bread, I tried it a few times, with different types of beer, but can’t say I was a fan, I guess with that too, I still need to find the beer that will be the best for it for my taste. Meanwhile, when I need a quick bread, I stick to variations of Irish soda bread. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol says:

    Nothing beats a good stew Ronit and believe it or not as hot as it gets here the men still love a stew…I like the idea of adding Juniper berries and caraway seeds for a change and agree adding carrots would change the taste although I add carrots to all my stews I think ( or else) someone will moan…no guesses for who that will be…I will serve carrots as one of his veg…lol Nice sounding recipe..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Carol, I’m glad you liked the dish.
      I do love carrots in my stews as well, but sometimes it’s nice to break the habits.
      The spices here really make the stew so much more interesting and work so well with the beer.
      I can’t imagine having such a stew on a hot day, but of course it’s very individual. Isn’t it great with have the option to choose? :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carol says:

        Believe it or not Ronit most dishes eaten here are hot as well as hot with chilli..I found that very strange when I first lived here as the merest hint of sun in the Uk and the salad bowl came out..Not so here…But yes it is great to have an option :)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. redcrosse10999 says:

    Reblogged this on redcrosse10999 and commented:

    On occasion, I may also turn up a reprinted recipe from other WordPress Foodie Blogs that seem like they are keepers and/or necessary to a recipe list. Different ways of preparing a stew is always a good way to ensure that the usual mix of celery, potatoes, carrots, onions and beef chips are not suddenly tossed out of the home commissary — it is usually a sad thing to find out that you divested your own fortune of stew recipes on a sad and lonely wintery or cold summer’s evening.

    Liked by 1 person

      • emilyshomecookedkitchen says:

        Yes.. of course fellow foodie! I’m learning a lot as I’m really plundering into my obsession! What beer did you use as I’ve found that certain beers can become bitter when cooked so you need to add sugar or something to help !! What beer did use for a tip ! Always good to share ! I’ve started to use lighter ales in my slow cooker beer recipes? I used dark beer recently and I had to really rescue it !! I think beer adds a great hearty depth and Unami that is different than wine ! 🍷🤣🍺 although love wine too !

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

          I’ve used Pilsner beer, as I mentioned in the ingredients. It’s a light beer both it color and flavor, so it’s not overly bitter, so all that was needed for a bit of balance was a teaspoon of sugar.
          It is fun to experiment with different types of beer, or wine. It gives such wonderful flavor to the stew. :)

          Like

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Mary, I’m glad you liked the dish and that it brought back nice memories. I love experimenting with stew liquids. Usually I use wine, but with the spices I wanted to use, beer was a better choice. It’s worth revisiting! :)

      Like

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Sheryl, I’m glad you liked the dish. It is indeed perfect for a cold day.
      Both caraway seeds and juniper berries are added to meat dishes in several cuisines, though I’m not sure they’re used together as I’ve done here, but it worked so well, I will definitely use this combination again. :)

      Like

  5. The Cooking spoon says:

    This is just the kind of food I need and long for with this weather. The only time I ever use juniper berries is when I make sauerkraut or chou croute or whatever it’s called in English 😂. So interesting in the stew though. I’ll add it next time. Thanks Ronit.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. marcellinaincucina says:

    Here in Northern Australia we are still in the midst of a hot and humid summer but you have reminded me that I used to make a beef and beer stew and like it very much. When we have our little spurt of winter I will be sure to resurrect my recipe and also add in some of the spices you have used here. What a great recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

      Thank you Ana, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I loved how the juniper berries flavor complemented the beer. It was a good match!
      Caraway seeds are not the same as cumin seeds. They look a bit similar, but the caraway seeds are a bit darker, and have a different flavor and aroma. Hope you can find them. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ana y la passion says:

        We usually use juniper berries for the venison stews :) we cook the meat before we make the stew with the juniper berries and some other spices. Hope I will have the opportunity to post that recipe we cook it quite rarely. My second cousin husband makes amazing venison stew from boar ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso says:

          I used to cook with venison more often when I was in Vermont, but now that it’s not as available, I’ve decided to try the juniper berries with beef instead, and it worked so well, especially when cooking with beer. I’m not sure it would be such a good match with red wine.
          I’m sure the boar stew is delicious. This is also a type of meat that’s hard to find here…

          Liked by 1 person

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