The week after St. Paddy's day last year, I was watching an episode of Chopped on the Food Network, and one of the basket ingredients was a porter beer, like Guinness. I believe it was Alex Guarnaschelli who said that you couldn't cook that beer for too long or it would turn out really bitter. I was so happy to hear that, and I tucked away that nugget of information for almost a year and finally made this stew.
The beauty of this stew is its simplicity. The only seasoning other than salt and pepper? Bay leaves. I found that the veggies, beef, and Guinness gave it plenty of flavor. I cooked this stew for about five hours and added the beer after three hours. I think you could trim that down to about three hours total and add the beer for just the last hour. You really only need to cook the stew long enough for the veggies to soften and the meat to tenderize. And the valuable lesson is that you definitely don't want to cook that beer for too long. Trust me on that one!
Irish Beef Stew Recipe
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2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound stew meat
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
8-10 baby yellow potatoes, cut into small chunks
4 ounces mushrooms, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups beef broth
3 bay leaves
1 can Guinness draught
Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large zipped bag. Add in the stew meat and shake until the flour is coating the meat. Set aside. In a large saucepan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat until hot. Add in the onion, carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove the vegetables to a bowl or plate.
Add the other tablespoon of olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add half of the floured stew meat to the pan and let cook for 2 minutes without moving so it can brown. Then stir it around and let it brown on all sides. Repeat with the remaining meat, adding more oil if needed before browning. Pour about 1/2 cup of the broth into the pan and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add in the rest of the broth, the can of tomatoes, cooked veggies, beef, and the bay leaves. Let simmer for 2-3 hours or until the veggies are soft and the meat is tender.
One hour before you are ready to eat, add in the can of Guinness draught and let simmer on low heat. Serve hot.
A She Makes and Bakes recipe