Guinness Beef Stew

After a bizarre week of unseasonably warm weather for New England in January, we woke up to a winter wonderland this morning. Ok, it really wasn’t that wonderful. The roads were an absolute mess and there was shoveling to do so Shane could get to work. It’s too bad that 1-hour delays only apply to schools, we definitely would have benefited from one today! I had a ton of errands I wanted to run today, but I will be staying put inside at least until the plows decide to come by…

Despite the trouble it causes, it sure is pretty…

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If I were smart, I’d have saved this Guinness beef stew to serve for dinner tonight. Wouldn’t it be the perfect bowl of comfort food to enjoy on a day like this? I wasn’t paying attention to the weather forecast though and didn’t know about the impending storm so I served it earlier this week. Luckily my entire menu plan this week revolved around comfort food so it won’t be hard to come up with another soul-satisfying option for dinner. Gotta love winter!

Guinness Beef Stew

This Guinness beef stew is hearty and although it’s not made in the slow cooker, it’s very low maintenance. One of my favorite things about the recipe is that it doesn’t call for browning the meat, which is nearly always the first step in a dish like this. It saves time, and means I don’t have to clean up the oil that’s inevitably splattered all over the stove as the meat sears. Instead, the stew is cooked uncovered in the oven, which helps the exposed meat to brown and really concentrates the flavor of the sauce. This makes a lot of stew, but the leftovers are delicious so I promise you won’t mind! I simply added a little more Guinness and some water and reheated it over low heat on the stove top the second day. We don’t eat a ton of red meat, but this stew will definitely be on the menu again at some point this winter :)

Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew
from Cook’s Country, February/March 2013

{Note: the recipe suggested avoiding Guinness Extra Stout – it’ll make the stew bitter.}

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups Guinness Draught, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 F, with a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Set a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once it starts shimmering, add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have browned. Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant and rust-colored. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute (just to get rid of the raw taste). Mix in the chicken broth, 3/4 cup of the Guinness, the brown sugar, and the thyme leaves. Scrape the bottom of the pot to pick up any browned bits.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for a few minutes until it has thickened slightly. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, and add to the pot. Return the mixture to a simmer, then transfer the pot to the oven (uncovered).

Cook for 90 minutes, stirring once halfway through the cooking time. Remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes and carrots, stirring to distribute. Return the pot to the oven and cook for another 60-90 minutes, stirring at 30-minute intervals. The stew is ready when the veggies and beef are fork tender. Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of Guinness and the parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.