In the late nineteenth and the early decades of our own time, many German families settled in the Ohio Valley around Louisville, and they brought their food and brewery talents with them. In many ways our food preferences reflect this influence. Most of our food today is lighter and fresher, but the old flavors linger on - one of which is this beef cooked in beer. Cook it ahead, heat it up, prepare some noodles and broccoli or kohrabi - it works like a charm.
1. Have your butcher slice the roast into 12 to 14 slices.
2. Melt the suet, if using, in a 400 degree oven while you flatten the slices of beef a bit with the flat side of a mallot. Then reduce the heat to 325 degrees.
3. Heat the suet or vegetable oil in a large iron skillet over medium heat. Saute the slices of meat, a few at a time, in the fat until they have browned lightly on both sides. Be careful not to burn the fat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Transfer the slices of meat as they brown to another pan to keep warm.
4. Add 2 Tbsp. butter to the skillet and blend it with the brown crustiness from the beef. Add the onions and water. Cook until the onions absorb the butter and meat juices somewhat. Season with salt.
5. Layer the meat and onions in a casserole or dutch oven, ending with a top layer of meat.
6. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and beer in the skillet and deglaze over medium heat. Stir well and pour over the meat and onions.
7. Add enough beef stock or bouillon to cover the meat well. If there is not enough, add some water. Add the celery, carrots, parsley, bay leaves, and thyme.
8. Cover, and cook in the oven for 1-½ hours. Then blend together the softened butter and flour and whisk it into the meat juices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and continue to cook until the meat is exquisitely tender and the juices have thickened. This may take another 30 minutes, depending upon the quality of the meat. Discard the seasoning vegetables and herbs.
From: Heritage of Southern Cooking
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