Summit Great Northern Porter Beef Stew

Fall is the season for comfort food. In Minnesota, each year we stubbornly come to grips with the fact that our all-too-short summers are ending. To ease the strain of the impending doom of winter, fall gifts us with crisp air, 65 degree days, and 45 degree nights. Thanks to Summit Brewing Company, and the re-release of their iconic Great Northern Porter, I was inspired to create a culinary concoction to comfort your cravings for a flavorful fall stew.

While the change in weather is great for sleeping, it is even better for making savory stews that can just spend hours simmering on your stove. The familiar aromas of a slow-cooked stew is something that we all deserve; especially this year. So, here is a recipe that is easy if you have a few hours to devote to preparing a mouth-watering stew that is elevated by the use of a local craft beer.

Why Summit Great Northern Porter?

When you cook with beer, it is important to understand how the flavor profile will go with your recipe. So, Summit Great Northern Porter fits the bill for this stew because of its wonderful roasted malt notes. There is a pleasing amount of bitterness that comes across as coffee or dark chocolate, and I like that bit of punch to the palate. It will enhance the flavors of the meat and pair well with the sweetness of the onions and carrots. Just like in a beer, a dish should be all about balance.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of oil for browning the meat
  • 1 pound beef chuck roast cut perfect bite-sized cubes
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • At least 3 cans of Summit Great Northern Porter-some is for the stew, but no cook worth their salt prepares food without a beverage in hand!
  • 2-3 good sized Yukon Gold potatoes-You can use Russets if you prefer, but Yukon Golds were what I had in the kitchen
  • 4 carrots peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Up to 32 ounces of beef stock
  • 1 tsp of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • A handful of chopped parsley

How to Make the Stew

To make the stew, you will need a dutch oven. I used my flame-orange Le Creuset because I paid a lot for it and, by golly, I am going to get my money’s out of that sumbitch! The process, from the initial cracking of your first can of Summit Great Northern Porter to finish is roughly 3 hours. I like to do this type of cooking on a Saturday because it gets me out of doing yard work. A word to the wise, if you have a spouse who assumes that your unplanned Saturday is an open invitation to go outside and rake the leaves, spending 3 hours creating a wonderful stew is a nice way to avoid that stuff. Besides, isn’t that what the wind is for?

Ok, if you have your beef cut, your veggies prepped, your Frank Sinatra on Spotify, and your can of Summit Great Northern Porter, you are ready to start cooking!

  • First, you are going to want to crack that beer open and pour it into a Summit Pint glass like I did.
  • Then, you need to heat up the oil in your dutch oven on medium-high heat.
  • You are going to brown the meat for a couple minutes each side to give it a nice sear on each side. Do this in batches if you have to because if you put it all in there at once, it will not cook evenly.
  • Add the onions in with the beef once the beef is browned and cook that for about 5-7 minutes
  • Add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • Sprinkle on the flour and mix it so it combines with the meat, onions, and garlic
  • Pour a can and a half of the Summit Great Northern Porter into the stew and deglaze the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all those flavor bits into the stew. There will be half a beer left in the second can and you should drink that.
  • Add some beef stock on top of that so that everything is completely covered
  • Add in the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let it do its thing for 1-2 hours. You could let it simmer for just an hour. However, if you let it simmer the entire 2 hours, you will be rewarded with deeper flavors and the meat will fall apart in your mouth.
  • At this point, you will add in your potatoes, carrots, and more beef stock to cover.
  • Again, you are going to bring this to a boil and then simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour.

At this point, you will be drooling like a maniac. Your primal, animalistic urges to just eat the stew out of the dutch oven will be tough to fight, and I validate your feelings. However, you want to be able to put this on the ‘gram, so ladle some into a bowl, and garnish it with the chopped parsley. Hell, don’t be a weirdo and just eat the stew on its own. Instead, go the fridge and crack another Summit Great Northern Porter to make it a proper meal.

Pairing a familiar fall beer with a sumptuous bowl of stew will bring a smile to your face. The time spent building intense and satisfying flavors feel satisfying. Of course, the Summit Great Northern Porter doesn’t just pair well with a hearty stew! Oh, no, it also pairs well with an empty glass and some friendly conversation. Prost!

Dan Beaubien has been involved with Beerploma since 2014 although his passion for craft beer dates back to 2006 when he started traveling for beer.  Dan mostly covers craft beer events, festivals, brewery openings/releases, and beer reviews. Dan has a soft spot in his heart for authentic British Style ales, IPAs, and all things barrel-aged.  If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Dan at dan.beaubien@beerploma.com .