Count Fernando's Stew

Author: Fernando Salazar
Serves 8?
1.5 lb. beef 1/4 lb bacon
1 carrot or 1 jar mushrooms 1 lb onions (about 3)
1/2 bulb garlic (6 or more cloves) 1/4 cup flour
3/4 bottle beer or ale 1 cup beef broth
1 bay leaf 1/4 tsp. thyme
1/8 cup red wine vinegar 1 tsp. sugar
shake of parsley

Crisp the bacon, crumble it, and set it aside.
Cut the beef into bite-size chunks, and brown (sear) it in the bacon fat.  Fish it out of the saute pan, and set it aside.
Chop the onions, and cook them in the fat.  Add the garlic, and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the flour, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
Slowly add the beer and broth, then add the bay, thyme, and sugar.
Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes.  Add the beef and carrots, and simmer until done (15-20 minutes?).
Finally, stir in the vinegar, bacon and parsley, and serve it forth.

Notes and Variations

Adjust the sugar and vinegar if the onions are very sweet.
Use a good beer -- Sam Adams Boston, not Budweiser.
Cider vinegar, or in desperation, white distilled vinegar, may be used (esp. if serving someone allergic to grapes).
Optional 20th c. variation: add small canned potatoes.

Serve with a salad and crusty bread.

Also good served over noodles.

Theoretically serves 8.  Really serves 4 hungry people with no side dish.


Redacted by Fernando for a Carolingian feast.  Source is believed to be "traditional," but at least the ingredients are period.