Bacon, It’s Cold Outside

At least here in New York it is. I think it was about 10° out yesterday so I decided to break out my Bacon Cookbook to find a hearty winter recipe. Maytag beef and bacon stew? Perfect. Except... I'm not a huge fan of blue cheese or peppered bacon. I am however a big fan of traditional beef stews with potatoes & carrots which this recipe doesn’t call for. Here’s my take on beef & bacon stew:

6 slices Berkshire thick-cut bacon
3 large onions
2-3 carrots
2 potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs. beef shoulder cut into chunks
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup ale/full bodied beer
pinch of dried thyme, crumbled
pinch of dried rosemary, crumbled
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste
2 cans beef broth
1 tablespoon cider vinegar


1. Chop onions, carrots & potatoes into large pieces.

2. In a large pot fry the bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels & crumble. Set aside.

3. Add the onions to the bacon fat & cook slowly over very low heat for about 10 minutes.

4. Add the carrots and cook another 10 minutes or until onions are nicely caramelized. Transfer to a plate.

5. Dust the beef in flour, tapping off any excess.

6. Add vegetable oil to the pot over high heat & brown beef on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

7. Add ale to the pot & deglaze.

8. Put the meat, onions, and crumbled bacon back in the pot. Add in the rest of the ingredients & bring to a boil.

9. Reduce heat & simmer covered for about 3 hours or until beef is very tender & vegetables are soft.

10. To thicken: take about 1-2 cups of liquid from the pot. Place into a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until smooth. Add back to the pot & mix well.