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Maytag Beef and Bacon Stew

  • 1 cup crumbled Maytag blue cheese (available in most markets)
  • Pinch of dried rosemary, crumbled
  • Pinch of dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 5 slices lean peppered bacon
  • 3 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup ale or full-bodied beer
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a large, heavy pot, fry the bacon over moderate heat till almost crisp, drain on paper towels, and crumble. Add the onions to the bacon fat, reduce the heat to very low, and cook them slowly, stirring, till nicely caramelized, about 20 minutes. Transfer the onions to a plate, add the vegetable oil to the remaining fat in the pot, and increase the heat to moderately high.

2. On a large plate, dust the beef in the flour, tapping off any excess. Add to the pot and brown on all sides. Add the ale and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the crumbled bacon and onions to the pot and add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt and pepper, broth, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook till the beef is very tender, about 2 hours.

3. Serve the stew in bowls with a little blue cheese sprinkled on top.

Yield: 4 servings

Thanks to The Bacon Cookbook by James Villas, copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons

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