Beer-braised beef feeds four for under $10

LOWER MERION TWP. - December 14, 2009

He says winter is a great time to make hearty meat meals without spending a lot of time and money.

"Learn how to braise, learn how to use the crock pot, Chef Billy advises. "It's a great way to cook. Especially if you're living a real fast lifestyle, you can set that Crockpot on the counter before you go to work and you come back and your meal is done."

He showed me how to make Beer-braised Beef with Root Vegetables.

The main ingredients are chuck steak -- an inexpensive cut -- carrots, turnips, onions and spices, some beef broth and a bottle of dark beer.

"Keep everything in season, try to find cuts of meat, or chicken or fish, that's sometimes on sale," he says. "Be creative and have fun while you're doing it. " Chef Billy seasons the meat with salt and pepper, dredges it in flour and them browns it oil.

Next, he adds the garlic, and then the onions. He says adding the onions at the same time as the garlic prevents the garlic from releasing a good, nutty flavor.

Next, the carrots and turnips go into the


"These turnips were very, very cheap. I think they were like $1 pound," Chef Billy says. Finally, add a bottle of dark beer and a cup of ready-made beef broth. Top it off with parsley and a bay leaf and let the flavors


Then, the whole mixture goes into a covered casserole and cooks at 300 degrees for 90 minutes.

Once you've got the basic recipe down, Chef Billy says you can get creative with it.

"Maybe you like a little oregano, you want to make this Italian. Maybe you want to make it Mexican, you want to make it more American and add some more mushrooms to it," Chef Billy says. "Go ahead. Don't be afraid."

The cost for this delicious dinner for four -- about $2.32 a serving.

To get Chef Billy's recipe, click here.

To find other "Cooking Light" magazine recipes, click here.

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