I normally let people pick what I make them for their birthday meal. My parents and my FIL were the scheduled guests for my wife's birthday yesterday. My wife told me to pick something new and different that everyone would like. Now that the weather has been getting cooler, I’ve been thinking of making this Belgian Beef Stew from The BGE Cookbook for a while now. My wife was a bit skeptical, but I felt this was a unique and interesting sounding stew recipe and she went along with me. I will let the pictures tell the story, but I will mention my wife’s first comment on tasting the stew was “Wow, this is amazing”! So I was off the hook and her earlier skepticism was forgotten.
Before I get going with the stew pictures, I’ll include a couple more pictures from items added to my grilling area.
My new 27”x27”x36”H outdoor storage cabinet. It is constructed entirely of faux wood (plastic) except for the marble tile top.
I bought some gasketed waterproof storage containers at The Container Store for keeping the items I store moisture (humidity) & insect free.
The Container Store had these Kingsford charcoal storage caddies for 20 or 22 pound bags of charcoal. The intent is the charcoal could actually be stored right in the opened bag. The bags for the Wicked Good lump I use didn’t fit, but the charcoal can be poured straight into the container.
The first thing I did was cook up 2 batches of Buttermilk Biscuits. My dough was a little soupy and they didn’t hold their shape while baking, but everyone said they were my best ever. So I guess I should shutup and say: “Just like I planned it”.
A 2 pound sirloin tip roast was sliced into cubes.
The recipe called this a seasoning sachet: It was made with thyme sprigs, bay leaves, orange & lemon zest. It gets wrapped in a piece of cheesecloth which is tied to hold the seasonings securely.
My new cabinet easily holds a full sheet pan with room to spare. Here we have round one of the stew ingredients: The cubed beef, the seasoning sachet, sliced carrots, diced onions, sliced celery, sliced bacon, flour, coriander, minced garlic, salt & pepper and Belgian White beer.
Having the BGE cookbook in electronic form made the prep easy because I could bring my iPad with me to the Kitchen and out to the grill.
The first step was to cook up the diced bacon. the Egg is set to 500 degrees and the Dutch Oven has been preheated for 10 minutes.
The bacon is done and gets removed while the bacon fat is retained for the next steps.
The carrots, onions and celery are sauteed next.
The cubed beef is browned next.
The beef is coated with flour and the minced garlic is added and cooked for a minute.
The 4 bottles of beer are added as is the coriander, cooked bacon and seasoning sachet. The other two bottles were consumed by the cook. The Dutch oven is covered and is heated at 500 degrees for 30 minutes, then the heat is reduced to 300 degrees and the stew simmers for another 30 minutes.
After an hour the stew had reduced drastically to a thick stock.
The next step was to add 3 cups of water and simmer for 30 minutes, 3 more cups and simmer for another 15 minutes, then add one cup and simmer for 15. Then the diced potatoes and the reserved carrots, onion and celery plus 2 more cups of water are added for a final 30 minute simmer.
The stew is done on the grill. Time to head into the kitchen for a few final additions.
Some butter, peas, fresh chives, lemon and orange juice are added to the stew.
The stew is ready to eat and is served with the buttermilk biscuits.
The buttermilk biscuits weren’t pretty, but they were the best eating ones I’ve made.
This stew took 4 hours from start to finish, but was well worth the time and effort.
This was the most interesting beef stew I’ve had. It had some of the usual flavors but lots of other flavors I don’t associate with beef stew. Everyone loved the citrus flavor and everyone had seconds or thirds. My FIL rarely has seconds and waits till everyone is done before he takes seconds. This day he was going for his seconds before anyone else had finished their first serving.