The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Beef and Beer Stew

The Future Home of Iditarod Dreams: Beef and Beer Stew

It was a cool Sunday morning and I thought I would have the day to do some painting and other small projects. I could not put any more into the dumpster this week as we had filled it with a moldy couch and love seat and a couple really nasty mattresses. I have no idea how anybody could sleep on that. It looked like something you might find in an alley somewhere. I will give the people the benefit of the doubt though, they were left here in the kennel building.

On Saturday I had driven down to Anchorage, almost a two hour drive in pouring rain and slick roads to Sam’s Club and the grocery. I am still amazed at the traffic in the “big city” of Alaska and all the people at the stores. By the looks of it, it looks like there is two million people in Anchorage or maybe every single person in the state did what I did and decided to get their shopping done on Saturday afternoon.

I picked up some sorely needed supplies, mainly tissue paper. No matter if you are living in the middle of no-where practically, you can not live without that! I also bought some items to make a stew recipe that my wife sent me on the Internet. It is Beef and Beer Stew and that is what this article is all about.

If you have been a frequent reader you would know two things that I am not: handy with a set of tools and good in the kitchen. Sure I can make a mean sandwich and even cook on the grill (which reminds me I still don’t have one) but cutting things up and making them taste good is a different story. I was never voted to cook at Boy Scout Camp and the last time I did I had a swollen shut eye from a bee-sting and lets just say I no longer like rice but that is another story all together.

Anyhow, I gathered all of the ingredients together on the counter, put the stew meat in the pan to “sear” and turned on the computer to retrieve the email from Michele. Who needs a Betty Crocker cook book when you have the power of the Internet! Things were going good until I realized that I did not have a can opener to open the huge can of tomato juice so I did it ‘Cowboy Way’ and jabbed a couple knife holes into it. I almost cut off my hand but it worked fine (later when I called home, Michele told me I had a can opener in the bottom drawer. Of course I did…) I also had to cut up all of the veggies on a cookie sheet because I don’t have a cutting board and I didn’t want to scar the counter top.

I added the cup of Heineken beer from my fancy beer tap thingy that I got for Christmas. The best gift a guy could ever get. Who needs ties and socks when you can have your every own beer tap! And then it was time to wait. Five hours until stew heaven.

For the next several hours I visited the neighbors and watched Tebowmania on the big screen while the Broncos thoroughly whipped the Steelers in a dress rehearsal pre-season game on Fox. Of course I tweeted my insights and opinions on Twitter, so much so they cut me off on my cross-posts on my Facebook account.

At half-time I gave the stew a final stir and scooped me up a hefty bowl. The first bite was good but it was missing something. Of course, garlic! I put garlic on everything. The way that some people use salt and pepper I use garlic. I had fresh stuff from the garlic capital of the world, The Valley in Cali, but it looked too “pretty” hanging there to cut up and who knows there might me a vampire in those woods! The stew was great and I had two bowls. I patted myself on the back for a job well done and even shared the recipe with a couple friends on Facebook, giving credit to my wife of course…

Here is the recipe if you would like to make it too:


·         2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces

·         2 potatoes, quartered

·         2 cups sliced carrots

·         2 cups sliced celery

·         1/2 lb fresh mushrooms (halved if large)

·         1 cup chopped onion

·         2 cups tomato juice

·         1 cup water

·         1/2-3/4 cup powdered, instant brown gravy mix

·         1 tbsp white sugar

·         1 slice day old bread, broken up

·         1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

·         1 bottle or can of beer

·         Salt and pepper to taste



Sear stew meat in hot frying pan with a little oil. Add meat to slow cooker along with the rest of ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours.


The beer really brings a great flavor to this stew recipe

Next week I am making Onion Soup Pot Roast. It was one of the recipe’s I exchanged with a Facebook friend. Thanks Penny!

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Please comment below.

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works


Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show