Pumpkin Ale Beer Stew

Serves 8

4 pounds beef-chuck stew meat, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup flour
¼ cup olive oil
2 (12 ounce) bottles Pumpkin Ale beer
2 cups beef broth
2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 ½ pounds small white boiling onions, peeled
1 ¾ pounds pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch chunks
4 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 recipe poached Herbed Pumpkin Ale Bread Dumplings (see recipes)

Season beef with salt and pepper. Place flour in large bowl; dredge beef chunks in flour, shaking off excess. Reserve remaining flour in bowl.

Heat oil in 8 quart Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add beef, in batches, and sauté until browned on all sides. Remove beef with slotted spoon to a bowl. Stir remaining flour into pan drippings and whisk for 1 minute.

Add Pumpkin Ale beer, broth, tomato sauce, herb sprigs, shallots and bay leaves to pot. Return beef to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour. Add onions; cover and continue to simmer 1 hour, or until beef is almost fork-tender, stirring once or twice. Add squash and celery; cover and simmer additional 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender. The stew can be prepared to this point and refrigerated, up to 3 days ahead.

Remove herb stems and bay leaves from stew. If stew was made ahead, bring to a simmer. Arrange poached dumplings on top of stew; cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes longer, until dumplings are heated through.

Nutrition Information, Per Serving:
840 calories; 38 g fat; 13 g saturated fat; 57 g carbohydrate

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