Student - December 17, 2009

Anyone for a beer?

With the festive season around the corner, alcohol consumption is again a hot item. Everyone uncorks an extra bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape, J.P Chenet or lets expensive champagne bubble excessively over the rims of the glasses.

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Added to these is the consumption of beer at New Year's Eve parties. With some foresight, the Knowledge Institute for Beer has brought out a beer guide with information about the number of calories in beer, other alcoholic drinks and side snacks. Professor of nutrition science Martijn Katan is not pleased that the institute's chairman is Frans Kok, professor of human nutrition. Katan is concerned that alcohol consumption would get a boost from the scientific end. Even moderated alcohol consumption must not be taken too lightly either, Katan feels. Two glasses a day can already inflict harm, while Kok wants to see the evidence for this claim. Personally, I am more concerned about the danger posed by the tasty snacks served with beer, which aren't always healthy.
Thank goodness these top gentlemen do see eye to eye on one issue. And that is, drinking too much alcohol is bad for the health. So get a hold on yourself now and then, and empty that bottle instead in the stew pot.
BEER STEW
Preparation time: 2 ¾ hours
Ingredients for 4:

750 grams stew beef, cut into pieces
2 onions, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, cut into strips
3 tablespoons oil
1 small can of tomato purée
1 tablespoon mustard
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons flour
a bottle of ale (dark beer)
Preparation
Fry the pieces of meat in a thick-bottom pan, a few pieces at a time, till they turn brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and place them aside. Sauté the onion and garlic in the remaining fat. Add the tomato purée and stir together briefly. Add the mustard, bay leaves, thyme, sugar and vinegar. Stir the flour into the mixture. Sizzle with the beer and return the meat to the pan. Make sure that the meat is just covered with liquid. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and cover the pan with a lid. Stew over the lowest heat for about 2 ½ hours. Or place the pan in a pre-heated oven at 150°C.

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