Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guinness Beef Stew

I make this stew every year for St. Paddy's day, and it is always a big hit.

Guinness Beef Stew

1/2 cup Butter
1-2 lbs. beef stew meat
1 lbs. Lamb (optional, but if you aren’t using replace with additional beef)
1 cup cup Diced Celery
16 oz bag of baby carrots
1 large Onion (larger than a baseball, smaller than a soft ball)
5 medium size potatoes chopped into chunky squares (medium size = about 6 inches in length)
3 can or bottle of draft Guinness
3 bottles of a comparable Irish red beer (Killians, Sam Adams Irish Red, Abita Irish Red, or just 3 more bottles of Guinness)
2-3 quart Beef Broth
1/2 cup Clarified Butter or vegetable oil
1 cup Flour
1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper or seasoned to taste (optional)
1-2 T of Black Pepper or season to taste
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste (optional)
Salt to Taste

  1. Heat ½ cup the butter in a large pot.
  2. Sear the beef in the butter until browned and season beef during cooking with some black pepper.
  3. Add the vegetables and potatoes and allow to soften slightly. I like to cut the baby carrots in half, especially the larger ones, but it is not necessary.
  4. Add the Guinness and beef broth. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.
  5. Allow to simmer for approximately 90 minutes or until the beef is tender and the potatoes are soft.
  6. Make your roux. While the stew is simmering, melt the clarified butter (or just pour in the vegetable oil) in a small saucepan and stir in the flour. Stir and cook over low/med heat until light golden. A roux can burn easily, so watch it closely and stir very often. In other words, don’t start making your roux then walk away. You can add a little Kitchen Bouquet to make it darker if you like a darker roux.
  7. When the potatoes in the stew are tender, add the roux (butter and flour mixture), a quarter at a time, to the stew and whisk to incorporate. After this addition, the stew will begin to thicken. After the desired consistency is reached, season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the stew simmer for as long as you like. The longer you cook it, the better it tastes. Also, as the stew is reducing I usually replace the lost liquid with the Irish red (thus the 3 extra beers. If you buy a six pack of Guinness, it is completely fine to add Guinness instead of the Irish Red, after all, Guinness is a deep, dark Irish Red).


Tips:
  • If you want a thicker stew, simply add less beef broth or beer (I don’t recommend adding less beer) or make and add more roux. If you add more roux later in your cooking, make sure that you let the stew cook for an additional 20 min after adding the roux -- otherwise the roux won't incorporate into the stew properly and you might be left with a stew that has a heavy flower taste.
  • Also, I’m a fan of vegetables in stew, some times I will double up on the carrots and add a couple of extra potatoes.
  • Really the recipe is more of a guide then a must follow road map. For instance, I’m a fan of vegetables in stew, some times I will double up on the carrots and add a couple of extra potatoes. I suggest just experimenting with it and see what comes.
  • Lastly this stew tastes better on the second or third day, so it is a great “make ahead of time item” that can be reheated simply by warming it in a sauce pan. It also freezes wonderfully. After cooling and leaving in the fridge over night, be sure to skim off the congealed grease on top of the stew, otherwise you will have a VERY greasy stew.
  • Invite over your friends and enjoy Guinness beef stew this St. Patrick’s Day for a special holiday you’ll all remember.

1 comment:

Ragin-Cajun said...

Mmmmm. Beer beef stew! I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now. I found it through Opinionated Catholic. Good stuff. After your last two posts I had to add a link to your blog from mine.

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