So why the sudden unexpected return? Beef in Beer with Herb Dumplings, the dish that's in my oven at the moment.
My mum, the ever supporter of my dreams, who often has the keen eye of how my direction will change, got us some cookbooks for Christmas. We've been making some of the recipes ever since (minus the soups), this beef dish being on the list for the week. I'm not a big fan of meat. It doesn't gross me out, I wish I ate it more, I feel awesome after I eat it. It's just not my favourite food. But, in an effort to keep the iron levels up around this house, I try.
This recipe called for braised beef. I didn't, and don't know what this is. So I bought a nice looking piece of meat that I knew I wouldn't be doing it any shame by cutting it up into cubes. This is how the unexpected return began. I didn't look at how much beef it called for, and started cutting up the carrots that the recipe called for, 8. When I realized that my ratio of carrots to beef was going to be ridiculous, I consulted the called for amount and actual amount on hand of beef. Oops. What on earth was I going to do with all of these chopped carrots?! Immediate thoughts:
1. Feed them to the dog, he's enjoying the few pieces he's snacking on now.
2. Make a very carroty Beef in Beer dish.
3. Make a soup.
We'll get to the chosen option later.
So here is how I went about preparing tomorrow's lunch:
In pan, with a couple of tablespoons of corn oil (American cookbook anyone?) soften 1 large onion, with a decent amount of carrots. While this is going, add your cubed beef (about a pound) to a bag that has 4 tbsps of flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Spin this bag closed and *shake*. Remove the carrots and onions from the pan, and put the beef in, turning until all is browned. Re-add the carrots and onions to the pan, along with:
-a can of Guinness
-the rest of the flour mixture that you shook the beef in
-a bay leaf
-1 tbsp thyme
-2 tsp brown sugar
Bring that to a boil. If you're like me, you don't have a casserole dish that you can transfer from stove top to oven, so I put all of this into a pyrex dish and covered with aluminum foil before putting it into the oven pre-heated to 325f.
I haven't tried this yet, but will update later with how it turned out. Based on smell, it's amazing.