Hosting my own cooking show – has been a dream come true to say the least. I’m blessed to do what I love – other than talking, cooking and eating (ha! ha!)….I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE craft beer!! On this episode of ‘In Char’s Kitchen’ I’m joined by one of Muskoka Brewery’s fabulous brewers; Will Garrett. Will & I are whipping up a decadent comfort food dish (perfect for the family or holiday entertaining) made with Shinnicked Stout (available at Muskoka Brewery Taproom or LCBO)!! ‘Tis the comfort food eating season! Cheers!!

Beef Carbonnade With Prunes and Shinnicked Stout

Stellar craft beer, quality stewing beef (thanks Stephen’s Butcher Shop!!) and rich & delicious prunes = comfort food done right!

¼ cup (60 mL) flour

½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

2 lbs. stewing beef cut in 2 cm (approx) cubes

8 slices of bacon

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil

½ cup (125 mL) each; diced onion, carrots and celery

½ lb (250 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered 

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cardamom

2 cups (500 mL) quality beef stock

1 cup (250 mL) Muskoka Brewery Shinnicked Stout 

1 cup (250 mL) pitted prunes, halved

1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar

2 tsp (10 mL) minced fresh ginger

3 cloves minced garlic *or to taste*

zest of one orange

Additional salt and pepper to taste

Garnish ~ Muskoka Four Season Greens

In a large bowl toss flour with salt, pepper and beef. Shake off excess flour and set flour coated beef aside. **note: you can brown flour coated beef in batches (if desired) – heat a splash of oil in a large fry pan over medium high heat and brown on all sides. Add to stew when adding stock as mentioned in below recipe. I personally do not think this step is necessary (it also makes for quite a bit of mess). I add the flour coated beef as is, to stew as mentioned below and the dish always turns out delicious.**

Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). 

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven (or large heavy bottom (oven proof) pot) over medium heat. Remove pot from heat. Remove bacon (leaving fat in bottom of pan) and set aside (once cooled, roughly chop bacon). Return pot with bacon fat back over medium heat and add vegetable oil. Cook onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms for about 3 to 5 minutes until soft (I like using a wooden spoon so I can stir and scrape all bits off bottom of pot at the same time). Add cardamom and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add flour coated beef, stock, stout and prunes. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover pot with lid (or tin foil) and place in pre-heated oven for about 1.5 hours (90 minutes) or until beef is tender. Remove from oven. Stir in vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, orange zest, salt & pepper and reserved chopped bacon. Serve on bed of mashed sweet potatoes (recipe below) and garnish with Muskoka Four Season Greens. Makes about 6 servings.

Spiced Sweet Mashed Potatoes

A pillow for stew, or straight up as a side dish – mashed sweet potatoes are simple, delicious and doable!

5 medium sweet potatoes, well washed and chopped (*I leave skin on – peel if desired)

3 tbsp (45 mL) butter

½ tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon

1 clove minced garlic

½ tsp (2 mL) salt

¼ tsp (1 mL) pepper

pinch nutmeg

Place chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Boil for about 20 minutes until fork tender. Drain well. Place potatoes back in pot. Add butter, cinnamon, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes to desired consistency. Makes about 4 cups (1 L).

Click here for another decadent recipe I developed using Shinnicked Stout.

Charmaine is the host of “In Char’s Kitchen” on YourTV Muskoka and regular guest on: Rogers Daytime OttawaCTV Morning Live OttawaCHCH Morning LiveBreakfast Television What She Said Radio sharing her love and enthusiasm for all things food, cooking and fitness.

Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys; Tyler & Colgan.

Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy, wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind.

Follow Charmaine on:

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Twitter: @runnercharb