I admit that I usually don’t get all hyped up about St. Patrick’s Day, but I do get excited about unique ingredients for cooking. So, as promised, here is the second post inspired by a bottle of Guinness Stout (that we somehow managed not to drink this week) which is a wonderful excuse to cook an Irish-themed meal for St. Patrick’s Day. Irish Beef Stew with Guinness is a no-nonsense kind of stew that you would expect from your mother or grandmother. Fortified with stout beer and sturdy root vegetables, this hearty no-frills stew will warm and comfort you – just like a woolen fleece on a misty grey day.
Irish Beef Stew
As most stews go, this is a humble and forgiving recipe. Add your favorite root vegetables and serve with mashed potatoes. Serves 6.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups stout beer
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium rutabaga, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 medium parsnip, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. (170 C.) Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot with a lid. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in batches, without overcrowding, 6 to 8 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer the meat to a plate and repeat with the remaining beef.
2. Add the garlic to the same pot and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Return all of the beef to the pot and stir to coat. Add the stock, beer, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be just covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock or beer to cover. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn off the heat and cover the pot. Transfer the pot to the oven and cook until meat the is tender, about 2 hours.
3. While the meat is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion, rutabaga, and parsnip and lightly season with salt. Saute the vegetables until they brighten in color and begin to take on a golden hue, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Remove the stew from the oven and skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Stir in the vegetables and return the pot to the oven, uncovered. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is slightly reduced, the vegetables are tender, and the meat is fork-tender, about 1 hour. Remove the stew from the oven and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.