“After Vayne’s ruse I had abandoned hope for honor… yet never did I forget my knightly vows. If I could protect but one person from war’s horror… then I would bear any shame. I would bear it proudly.
“I could not defend my home. What is shame to me?”
—Basch fon Ronsenburg, FFXII
- 22 oz. bottle of strong Belgian-style ale, such as Stone’s Cali-Belgique IPA
- 1½ lbs. beef stew meat
- ¼ cup flour
- 6 oz. raw bacon, cut into ¼” strips
- 3 large carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into 1” pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 head of garlic (about 8-12 cloves), peeled and halved
- 2 large yellow onions, quartered lengthwise and sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
- 2 bratwurst sausages, uncooked, casing removed and cut into 1″ pieces (about 7 oz. total)
- 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
- Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 cups homemade chicken stock or beef broth
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- Fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¾ oz. flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 crusty French baguette
Open the 22 oz. bottle of beer and measure out 1 cup. Set aside. Pour the remaining beer into a glass and enjoy it while making the soup.
Cut the stew meat into bite-sized pieces, about 1” square. Dredge the meat in flour. (The easiest way is to put the meat and flour in a plastic bag and shake until all pieces are fully coated.) Set aside.
Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, and onions. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized.
Stir in sausage and mushrooms and cook until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. Add the stew meat in a single layer and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides, about 20 more minutes.
Slowly pour in 1 cup of beer and 2 cups of broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as you go, and bring to a boil. Stir well and add sugar, bay leaves, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 1½ hours, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the meat is soft and tender. Remove from heat. Discard thyme and bay leaves. Stir in vinegar and parsley, and serve with crusty bread.
Makes about 5 heaping 1-cup servings. Per serving (does not include baguette): 513 calories, 22.9 g. fat, 9.2 g. saturated fat, 0.1 g. poly. fat, 118.5 mg. cholesterol, 604.1 mg. sodium, 645 mg. potassium, 31.4 g. carbohydrates, 4.2 g. fiber, 42.6 g. protein, vitamin A 62%, vitamin C 19%, calcium 7%, iron 19%