Thursday, March 17, 2011

Simple & Hearty Guinness Beef Stew

Since it's St Patrick's Day today, I wanted to make something Irish (or at least with something with some Irish influence) for dinner last night. Initially, I thought of making some traditional Irish corned beef and cabbage. So, I went online to look for a good recipe. While browsing through some recipes of Irish dishes, I came across an awesome recipe for Guinness Beef Stew. I thought to myself, "Hey, why not try this instead?" Well, I did and it turned out to be great! Not only was it rather easy to make but it was super yummy too. Let me share this recipe with you guys.
Start off by marinating about two and a half lbs of cubed stew beef (I used chuck) with some freshly crushed black pepper and garlic powder. When you pick your meat, make sure that it has some nice marbling. We do not want to get something that is too lean.
Next, coat the beef cubes in flour that has been seasoned with some salt.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and throw in a bay leaf or two. Then, saute the beef in batches, just til it turns brown. Remember not to over crowd the pan. It took me about three batches to get it all done. Remove the beef from the pan and set it aside.
Alritey, time to cut up the vegetables. Quarter about 6-7 small red potatoes (leave the skin on) and drop them into the crockpot. Six to seven potatoes is just an estimate. It really depends on how big your potatoes are. Since the red potatoes that I have are really huge, I only used four and cubed them into smaller chunks. Then, add in a couple handfuls of baby carrots. You could also use regular carrots. Just cut them into cubes. If you like, you could also add in some celery. Now, I am not really a big fan of celery, so I decided to leave that out. Top all of that with a couple of bay leaves.
Next, slice up a medium onion and mince a few cloves of garlic. Then, throw them into the pan that you used to brown the meat earlier. Saute over medium heat for a few minutes and then add in about 1/4 can of beef broth (14 oz can) to deglaze the pan. Make sure that you scrap up all the yummy leftover bits from the beef at the bottom of the pan. Those tiny bits are just packed with flavor!
Once you are done with the onions and garlic, add in the beef that you have browned earlier into the crockpot and top that up with the onions and garlic.
After that, place some sliced fresh mushrooms on top of the onions and garlic. I used white mushrooms but you could also use portobellos if you like.
Now, we can start working on the stock. Pour the remaining beef broth into the pan that you used earlier to saute the onions and garlic. Then, add in two 8 oz cans of tomato sauce followed by an envelope of onion soup mix (approx 13g). Mix it all together.
Pour the mixture carefully into the crockpot. Finally, top everything up with a large can (14.9 oz) of Guinness. It really depends on how much space you have in your crockpot. Just crack open a bottle/can of Guinness and fill it to the top. For me, I used the entire large can. Cover your crockpot, set it on HIGH and allow it to cook for about 7 hours. Done! Now, wasn't that easy? I made this early in the day and we had a huge pot of piping hot stew waiting for us by dinner time. The best part of it all was the delicious smell that filled our whole apartment throughout the entire day. Mmmm mmmm mmmmm! I served this Guinness Beef Stew up with mashed potatoes and a some Irish Soda Bread that we had bought earlier from our local grocery store. Go ahead, try this recipe and let me know how it turned out. I bet you will enjoy it as much as we did!

Happy St Patrick's Day Everyone!!

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