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Beer and Beef Stew

Loch Lomond Shores, a leisure and shopping complex, near Balloch, plays host to the Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival 2005 from Saturday 3 September to Sunday 11 September.  The Food and Drink Festival offers a nine day programme of food and drink events including:  whisky tastings and tutorings;  Chocolate Heaven;  science in the kitchen;  cooking for bairns;  a two day Loch Lomond Shores Farmers' Market and Food Hall;  cheese and wine tasting;  food in art and literature amongst other happenings.

Events include the first ever Loch Lomond Real Ale Festival at the Shores on Friday 9th September (noon to 6pm), Saturday 10th (noon to 10.30pm) and Sunday 11th (noon to 6pm).  The beer festival reflects the growing number of small Scottish real ale brewers and features a triad of Loch Lomond brewers - Loch Fyne Ales, Bridge of Allen and Trossachs Craft Brewery.  There will be guest beers form Houston Brewery, Kelburn  and Arran Breweries.  There will be live bands on the Saturday evening and food is available for purchase throughout the festival.  Entry price includes your own festival glass and programme with tasting notes.  Phone 0845 8620072 for booking and further information.

There are events for all the family including a Teddy Bears' Picnic and a visit to www.lochlomondfoodanddrinkfestival.com is essential to planning your programme of visits.

For this week's recipe you can combine the best of Scottish beef with your favourite Scottish beer in the excellent Beer and Beef Stew.
 

Beer and Beef Stew

Ingredients:  2 lb beef stew meat;  2 bay leaves;  1 tbl dry thyme;  1 tbl dry rosemary;  1/4 cup vegetable oil;  2 tbl butter;  1 cup diced peeled onion;  1/4 cup flour;  12 oz dark beer;  1 qt hot beef broth;  1/2 cup crushed tomatoes;  2 tsp salt;  2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper;  1/2 cup diced peeled carrots;  1/2 cup diced peeled celery;  1 cup diced peeled turnip;  1 cup diced peeled parsnips

Method:  Season the beef with salt and pepper. Tie the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary into a sachet garni in cheesecloth.

In a large casserole combine the oil and butter and heat until the butter bubbles. Add the beef in one flat and not too tightly packed layer and brown the beef well on all sides. Remove the beef, set aside and add the onions to the casserole and cook to a golden caramelized colour. Sprinkle the onions with the flour and stir to combine well.

Return the beef to the casserole, add the beer, hot broth, herb sachet garni, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cook for 3/4 hour.

Add the carrots, celery, turnip and parsnips and continue to cook for 1 additional hour.

Serves 6 to 8.

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