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Wylie’s Winter Ale Bison Stew
inspiration began here,
with incidental musing…
‘what must it be like to live here and cook over this fragrant wood stove’s heat’
‘which traveller came across this secluded thicket and had such vision’
‘hmmm… (insert google here)… that would be…’
‘Carl and Flora Wylie in the 1930′s’
at the end of the day
a wee glass of this ice-cold ale was sampled
(thank you Katie and Travis)
Granville Island’s Lion’s Winter Ale…
‘A seasonal beer with distinctive winter notes of maple syrup, cloves, toffee, vanilla…’
Now, how did that lovely little glass make it into our kitchen…
‘mmm! it would be perfect in a stew… maybe a bison stew for a change…’ So.. I’ll fry up a little bacon and caramelize a few thinly sliced onions, if you scrub the carrots and potatoes… let’s add a few mushrooms…
a quick smother of flour and a pot’s searing heat for the meat
now you pour in some of that wonderful Winter’s Ale and deglaze the pan…
then we’ll toss everything into that massive dutch oven
oh, let’s not forget to plop in a little fresh rosemary and sage…
cover it with a tight lid, will you, and then we’ll give it an oven’s bake for an hour or so…
‘perhaps we should sample another wee glass of Winter’s ale while we wait…’
3 lbs stewing meat cut in cubes (I used 1 lb bison and 2 lbs beef)
olive oil as needed
12 oz Granville Island Winter Ale Beer
12 oz beef broth
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
4-6 medium potatoes, cubed
4-6 carrots, chopped
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Coarsely chop bacon and fry in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon and leave the drippings in the pan. Add the onion and reduce heat to medium low. Sprinkle sugar over and continue to stir over low heat until the onion browns and is caramelized and soft, adding garlic cloves in the last few minutes of cooking.
Remove onions and place in a strainer over a bowl to catch the drippings if there are any (depending on the amount of fat in the bacon, I didn’t have any). Add olive oil as needed and toss in the mushrooms, cooking until browned. Remove mushrooms from skillet.
Mix the flour, thyme, salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Add a splash of olive oil to the skillet and turn on medium high heat. Dredge, to coat, all pieces of beef and add them to the skillet and brown. Stir and turn the meat cubes to brown all sides. Take care not to overcrowd the skillet so that beef cubes can brown properly. Repeat for each batch, adding olive oil as needed to the skillet. As each batch of meat is browned, place in an oven-proof skillet.
When all the beef is in the casserole dish, add some of the winter ale to the skillet. Add back the bacon bits and bring the heat to medium high to deglaze the pan.
Add the onions to the meat in the casserole dish, then pour the beer and bacon mixture over top. Add the remaining winter ale and the rest of the ingredients, from the beef broth through to the carrots. If needed, add additional broth if more liquid is required.
Cover and bake at 325° F for about 1 hour and 30 minutes until beef is cooked and vegetables are tender.
Serve with a hearty loaf of bread to mop up the sauce and remove bay leaves and cloves, if possible.