Friday, December 23, 2011

Brisket, Bacon & Beer Cowboy Stew


After all the hustle and bustle of the days (weeks?) leading up to tonight, it is finally time to sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of our labors.  So what's for dinner at our house on Christmas Eve?  Something we cooked ahead of time.  Yeah, making this stew was part of that aforesaid hustle and bustle, but to my way of thinking it's better to put a little time into making this ahead than to spend Christmas Eve cooking!  It's time for family, friends, fun and relaxation!

Kimber texted me the other day that she was craving one of our favorite wintertime meals - Brisket, Bacon & Beer Cowboy Stew.  These flavors have me imagining cowboys sitting around the campfire, the cattle mooing, the horses whinnying and coyotes howling in the distance while this stew simmers away in an old black cast iron Dutch oven over the flames.  I can almost smell the campfire!

The stew is a hearty, beefy broth kicked up with smoky bacon, garlic and onions, a zip of heat, undertones of coffee and smoothed out with creamy potatoes and sweet corn.  Make a pan of Bacon Corn Cheddar Green Chile Cornbread, add a green salad and it's dinner!  

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!

Brisket, Bacon & Beer Cowboy Stew

  • 8 slices bacon, sliced across into 1/2" pieces
  • 5 pounds beef brisket, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
  • Jane's crazy salt, to taste
  • Hot Shot, to taste (if you can't find Hot Shot, mix cayenne pepper and freshly ground black pepper), or just freshly ground black pepper if you don't want the heat
  • 12 ounces beer, 1 bottle, gluten-free to make this GF
  • water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 5 large red potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
  • 10 ounces canned corn, DelMonte Summer Crisp or frozen
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies, Ro-Tel brand
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, ancho chile powder if you can find it - enhances the smoky flavor...or try chipotle chile powder!
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules, beef soup base - check to see if it's GF if you're making this gluten-free
  • 2 tablespoons coffee powder, instant

Fry bacon over medium-low heat in a large Dutch oven.  Remove and set aside. 

Toss brisket cubes with Crazy salt and Hot Shot.  Brown the brisket cubes in bacon fat, cooking in batches.  When last batch has been browned, add garlic and onion; cook until onion is soft while scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot.  

Return meat to pot, add beer and water to barely cover and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer until tender beef is tender -  about 2 hours. 

When brisket is tender, add potatoes, corn, Ro-Tel, chile powder, instant coffee and soup base.  Simmer until potatoes are tender and stew comes together nicely.

Serve with reserved bacon sprinkled on top of each serving. Print this post

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