Monday, November 9, 2009

Guinness Beef Stew


It's the time of the year when I dust off the old crockpot {nowadays, called a slow cooker} & get to cooking up some stews, chili, or pot roasts. On Saturday, it just felt like a good beef stew day. No plans. Just a family day, with a few hours of hockey thrown in there. I dug around in my bulging recipe file {a manila folder stuffed with torn out magazine pages} & came up with this recipe from Cooks Country magazine.
This recipe makes for a great weeknight meal, even if you're gone all day at work, because the prep can be done the night before & it takes all day to cook {on it's own}. I love the addition of Guinness & bittersweet chocolate. It makes an amazingly rich, dark sauce. I know it will be a hit with whoever you make it for.

Begin by browning 3-4 pounds of beef chuck stew meat, that has been cut into bite-sized chunks. To do this, dry the beef with paper towels & season generously with some kosher salt & pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large, heavy skillet, over medium-high heat. Cook the beef, in batches, until browned on all sides {about 8 minutes}. When done, transfer to the bowl of a slow cooker.

In the same skillet, add in an additional tablespoon of oil & 2 chopped onions. Cook until the onions soften & begin to brown {about 5 minutes}.

Add in an ounce of bittersweet chocolate {chopped}, 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme & 2 bay leaves {I used fresh, because I have a bay plant growing in my kitchen. Dried are fine too.}.

Along with, 1 1/2 cups of Guinness Draught & 4 cups of low-sodium chicken stock. Bring to a boil & scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker.

Add in 5 carrots {peeled & cut into 1" pieces},

1 pound of parsnips {peeled & cut into 1" pieces} & 1 pound of baby red potatoes {scrubbed clean & halved}.

Give the mixture a stir, cover & cook on low for 9-10 hours {or on high for 6-7 hours}.

Once the stew is done cooking, turn the slow cooker up to high {if it's not already} & measure a 1/4 cup of flour into a small bowl. Whisk in a 1/4 cup of Guinness & beat until smooth. Pour this into the stew & stir. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Finally, stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley, season with some salt & pepper {to taste},

and serve.

Guinness Beef Stew

Adapted from Cooks Country magazine, February 2007
Serves 6-8

3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck stew meat
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 small onions, chopped
4 cups low-sodium, or homemade chicken stock
1 3/4 cups Guinness Draught, divided
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled & cut into 1" chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled & cut into 1" chunks
1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed & halved
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in batches, until browned on all sides {about 8 minutes total}. Transfer to a slow cooker. Continue until all the beef is browned & add more oil to the skillet, if necessary.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same skillet & add in the onions. Cook until softened & beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups Guinness, light brown sugar, thyme, chocolate & bay leaves. Bring to a boil & using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the carrots, parsnips & potatoes to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 9-10 hours {or on high for 6-7 hours}.
At the end of the cooking time, turn the slow cooker up to high. Whisk the flour & remaining 1/4 cup of Guinness until smooth. Then stir the mixture into the stew. Cover & cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley, discard the bay leaves & season with salt & pepper.
You can brown the beef & prepare the onion mixture the night before & add to the slow cooker in the morning, if desired.
Click here for the printable recipe.

15 comments:

Ellie said...

This looks wonderful! I just came back from Ireland and have been wanting to try making the beef stew at home ever since. thnak you for the wonderful step by step photos. Will be making this soon:)

Rabbittrick said...

This is quite exciting! I rather fancy guiness, but I fancy stews even more!

Thanks for the recipe, I'm filing this one for the weekend =)

Emily said...

This looks so good! I'm going to make it for Kenny poo.

Karen said...

I just saw this on tasty kitchen! Had to print out the recipe to try this week. Yummm. Thanks for posting, hubby is thrilled.

Eric said...

I stumbled on this last night and I knew I had to try it. I just returned from the grocers with the missing ingredients and am about to embark!

Hungry Dog said...

This sounds incredible! I think I might make this over the weekend, perfect for a cool night. Like your blog, I'll be back!

Angela said...

This is a great idea for my son's Baptism dinner as my husbands family is Irish. What would you recomend go with this besides some fantastic bread and assortment of cheeses?

kate said...

Hi Angela~
If it were me, I would serve it with some rustic type bread & a big salad. Or, you could make it a bit more formal & omit the red potatoes & make mashed potatoes instead. The dark sauce in this stew would make an awesome gravy.
Good Luck with it! I'm sure your guests will be impressed :)

starsailor said...

Outlandishly wonderful lavish brown broth. We that decadent stuff with french bread, sopping it all up! Thanks. This will be my make and take dish for thanksgiving to one-up the turkey!

Lauren said...

Katie, do you get a notice when new comments are posted, because this post is from last year and I'm just commenting now, March...so, thinking I really need to get a slow cooker. It's taken me these many years to get over my mom's crockpot cooking, but the idea of dinner making itself is too attractive! The prices for them differ wildly. Any suggestions for what bells you do need, and which you don't? How about a model you'd recommend? xo Lauren

kate said...

Lauren~
Yup, I get all the comments. Doesn't matter when they're posted.
I think a slow cooker is a very basic kitchen essential & one that shouldn't cost a lot of money.
It seems that they are making a comeback nowadays & there are some really spiffy ones made by Cuisinart & All Clad out there. The inserts can be taken out & used on the stove top, for reducing sauces, etc. But, unless you are going to get really gourmet, I wouldn't bother with that.
I have an older version of this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Crockpot-38501-W-5-Quart-Smart-Pot-Cooker/dp/B00008I8NS

Hope that helps :)

Sylvia said...

I made this tonight for my family.. the temperature has finally dropped in Houston (for good, I hope!) So I was looking for a great stew recipe and this turned out delicious. I'm happy I made a double batch and froze one half! Delicious.
-Sylvia
Stock Pots

Jenny said...

I made this tonight - it was amazing!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Made this yesterday in a dutch oven on the stovetop and simmered for almost two hours. Turned out great! The sauce didn't get very thick, but it didn't matter because the taste was amazing! First time I'd used parsnips...very good. And since I had the stout onhand, made Guiness Chocolate cupcakes with Bailey's icing! Great meal!

Sharpspoonful said...

Late to the party, but this recipe has been saved. It was incredibly savory, thickened nicely, and was good with a pint of Guinness! Cheers, and I'll be cooking more of your recipes!

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