If you feel like doing something besides corned beef for St Patrick’s Day this year, have I got something for you! I came across this Cooking Light recipe and thought I’d give it a whirl to satisfy a hankering I had for stew. A stew hankering. Do you ever get one of those? Whenever it drops below 70 degrees outside (hey, I’m from California), I pull out the heavy coats from the back of the closet, throw on my Uggs, and get a pot of stew going on the stove.
It ends up that this isn’t just a St. Patrick’s Day recipe, it may very well be the best beef stew we’ve ever eaten. The combination of flavors from the Guinness, caraway seed, and raisins come together perfectly to create a rich, complex base. I know what you’re thinking…raisins? Yes, raisins! They melt into the stew in the most pleasing way. No one would ever suspect they were there but they do something really special. Make sure to use fresh, soft, recently purchased raisins – not the hard, black ones in the back of the pantry that the kids never ate.
A note before we start cooking. It’s important to follow the cooking process as set out in the recipe. Don’t try to rush it. The mixture will be brought to a boil several times and then simmered. This is important to the final outcome and flavor of the delectable sauce that will be created as the stew cooks down. After the long cooking time, the booziness of the Guinness is long gone but its essence is left behind, adding a depth of flavor you won’t get with beef broth alone.
The grocery list: vegetable oil, all-purpose flour, boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes (or packaged, cubed beef stew meat), salt, a couple of onions, tomato paste, beef broth, a bottle Guinness Stout, raisins, caraway seeds, black pepper, a few carrots, a parsnip, baby Yukon gold potatoes, and flat-leaf parsley.
If you don’t feel like cubing up a chuck roast, go with the packaged stew meat you find at the store. The result will be just as good. Start by salting half of the meat.
Toss it around in some flour.
Cook the beef in a Dutch oven that you’ve coated with vegetable oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or till nicely browned. Remove to a dish and repeat with remaining beef.
Add a little more oil to the pan and add the chopped onion. Cook and stir for a few minutes and then add the tomato paste. Have you seen the tomato paste in the tube? I have tons of recipes that call for just a tablespoon or two of tomato paste. Somebody was thinking! Thank you for putting tomato paste in a tube. Cook and stir for a couple more minutes.
Now the good stuff. Pour in the Guinness and the beef broth. Cook and stir, scraping up the the yummy browned bits from the bottom of the pan. The recipe calls for Guinness Stout which comes in a 12 ounce bottle. Darn, you’ll have 5 left. I hope you can find something to do with them.
Return the meat to the pan and add the salt, pepper, caraway seeds, and raisins. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for an hour.
After the long simmer, remove the cover and add the veggies. Turn up the heat again and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let it go for 30 minutes. It should be at a nice simmer.
Uncover, bring to a boil one more time, cook about 10 minutes or until veggies are fork tender. Sprinkle with parsley and remove from heat.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Now go grab a couple of those extra bottles of Guinness, a loaf of crusty bread and enjoy!
Guinness Beef Stew
Servings: 6 to 8
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes or packaged, cubed beef stew meat
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3 cups chopped onion (about 2 small onions)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle Guinness Stout
- 2 tablespoon raisins
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1-1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices carrot
- 1-1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices parsnip
- 1-1/2 cups baby Yukon gold potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place flour in a pie plate or other shallow dish. Sprinkle 1/2 of the beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and dredge it in the flour. Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add the flour coated beef to pan. Cook and stir for a few minutes until nicely browned. Remove the beef to a plate with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining beef.
Add onion to pan and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring for a minute or two. Stir in beef broth and beer. Return the browned beef to pan. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, raisins, caraway seeds, and pepper. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Uncover and bring to a boil. Cook 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrot, parsnip, and potatoes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover and bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with parsley.
Adapted from Cooking Light.