My Motto

May the muffin rise to greet you, may your friends be always at your door, and until we meet again, warm a single-malt in the palm of your hand and make something homemade for someone you love.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew

"One Cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well"
~Virginia Woolf

It's that time again!  I love this time of year when I can highlight some good Irish recipes.  This wonderfully simple, yet delicious stew is a great company meal for Saint Patrick's Day if corned beef isn't your thing.  This was one of the choices at the recent wedding rehearsal dinner of my son, Curtis.  It was by far the most popular choice. 
Guinness gravy is so flavorful.  Any time I cook savory dishes with beer, I always use a bit of mustard, as I find the combination irresistible, and it does not disappoint here.  The beer contributes to tenderizing the beef and adds a depth of flavors with it's malty and tangy notes and the mustard adds a spicy sharpness that you can't quite put your finger on.  My daughter claims it is the best stew she's ever had.  As it is meant to be served over mashed potatoes or champ (mashed potatoes and scallions), there are no potatoes cooked in it.  You can if you must, but I strongly suggest you try it the traditional way first!  

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew
Adapted from a Guinness Recipe

2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 cups Guinness stout
1 cup beef stock
4 large carrots, chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
fresh parsley for garnish

Place beef cubes in a bowl and massage on 1 tablespoon of the oil.  In another bowl, stir together the  flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika.    Dredge beef in this flour mixture until every side of all the beef pieces are coated and there is no loose flour in the bowl.  

Heat remaining oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Cook the beef in a single layer.  If, due to the size of your pot, you need to do this in batches, take the time.  The beef will steam instead of brown if you pile it all on top of itself.  Browning it properly is the key to a good stew.  After all the beef is browned, make sure it is all in the pot (if you did it in batches) and add the garlic and onions.  Stir in for a minute or two (without letting the garlic brown).  Add tomato paste, beer and beef broth and thyme.  Add carrots, bay leaf, mustard and Worcestershire.  Cover and cook for 3 1/2-4  hours at 325 degrees F until beef is tender.  During second half of cooking check liquid level a couple times and add a little more beer or broth if too much has evaporated.  If you like, you can make mashed potatoes ahead of time, place in a buttered casserole dish, cover with foil and keep warm in the oven with the stew during the last 20 minutes of it's cooking.
Right before serving, remove the bay leaf, taste the gravy and add more salt and pepper, if needed.

Place a generous dollop of mashed potatoes or champ in a bowl, ladle stew over and sprinkle with parsley.  

Crock-Pot method:

Brown beef as described above, then deglaze pan with beer and broth.   Add all ingredients to your crock pot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  Towards end of cooking check liquid level.  Add more if needed.


Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

Ohhh I think I'll be trying this on St. Patrick's Day! Thanks for sharing!

Tina said...

I have been gathering irish recipes for St Patrick's, so I will add this to the pile. I thinks the hardest thing will be deciding. Your stew does look so hearty and comforting! I am thinking that the irish recipes will not be segregated to just that holiday! Have a great day!

Raquelle said...

Definitely going to make this!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Laurie: Glad to hear - let me know how you like it!

@Tina: Ha! I tell myself that every year too ("why do I only make corned beef in March??!!!)

@Raquelle: I love it - that's great! I'll be dying to hear what you think!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Didn't know you made this mom! This dish is all over the place in Ireland (unlike corned beef and cabbage) and is delicious (also unlike corned beef and cabbage). Can't wait to try yours!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

@Curtis: Hahaha, well, when you only eat at home about 20 times in the last four years, you miss a lot of good stuff!!! Hey! I love corned beef and cabbage!!! This was really good, though. Next time you're in CT I'll make it for you ;-)

Anonymous said...

Making this now. Smells wonderful!

Margaret Murphy Tripp said...

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!!! Thanks for taking the time to let me know. xo

KDoucette said...

Marg, it's been a while since I checked out the block but your comment about "Gerard something or other" just had me rotflmao, it was too funny because Gerry Butler is MY man...since his appearance on Phantom...I am obsessed with the dude and him in PS I love you, OMG...someone stop me...anyway, those dishes look to die for and the pizza well, YUMMMMM gotta do that on my stone. Hope all's well, how is Curtis?? Keep in touch, love...hugs.

Anonymous said...

missed the anti robot stuff first attempt. Margaret, I've been looking for an Irish stew recipe and have chosen yours for its diverse selection of ingredients. I will wait a day or two to let the flavours develop before I give you any feedback. I'm extremely optimistic. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Margaret, great recipe. Cooked it as per instructions, let it cool and refrigerated for a day to let the flavours develop. Superb restaurant quality fare. 24 hours in the fridge improved an already delicious meal tremendously. Funny how that seems to work, especially with curries. More infusive spices perhaps. I will definitely check out your other recipes for more gems. Thanks very much, Steve. An English man in exile in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recipe...I would not have thought to put mustard in cuts the riches of the stew yet giving it a very unique was hit...had to make two pots...again thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful Irish Stew Recipe. It is now my "go to" recipe.