After the bitter, sub-zero temperatures early this week, now it's warmed up and the weekend has been rather rainy. We don't get a lot of rain in Bend, which is fine with me. I was raised in the Willamette Valley so I am more than familiar with the wet stuff.
Today the rain seems to finally be turning to snow. What started as small, dry white flakes has quickly turned to heavy, cold snow.
It's definitely Stew weather!
I have seen the Crockpot Challenge floating around on a couple other blogs, and Twitter. During the winter we "Crock-It" a couple of nights each week. Seems like a nice way to share ideas and get some new recipes, so I am joining in the fun.
Beef 'N' Brew Stew with Dumplings
1 1/2 lb beef, cubed
3 tbsp flour
2 cups onions, chopped
1 bottle (12 oz) beer (I used Deschutes Buzzsaw Brown Ale)
2 t prepared mustard (paste)
1 T brown sugar
salt and pepper
6 T self-raising flour
2 T butter
1 tsp dried herbs
pinch salt and pepper
2 oz milk
Put the flour in a plastic bag and add the beef. Toss until coated. Brown the meat if desired (I didn't). Put the beef and onion in the crock pot. Mix the beer, mustard, brown sugar, salt & pepper together and pour over the beef. Cook on low for 8-10 hours
Sometime during this period make the dumplings. If you want more dumplings then you can double (or triple) the ingredients. Combine all the dry ingredients and the butter with a fork. Add enough milk (may need slightly more or less) to make a soft dough. Drop spoonfuls into Crock Pot. About 40 minutes prior to serving, put the dumplings in the crock pot. Turn Crock Pot to high, replace lid. Cook another 30-40 minutes or until dumplings are ready.
Serve with potatoes, or over rice. A nice green salad went really well with this heavy winter meal!
I am supposed to post a photo of the finished meal, but it really doesn't look like much so I'll spare you. It tasted fantastic, but I would give the dumplings a good hour rather than the 30-40 minutes recommended.
We had some sourdough bread left over from last night, so I just sliced up some bread since the dumplings didn't pass muster.
The beef was very tender with good flavor. The gravy/sauce from the beef is really good with the rice or even potatoes. Next time I will probably tweak this recipe by adding some red chili or something else with a little more kick, I think. But overall everyone was happy and full following tonight's dinner.