Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Beef and Guinness Stew

Hi folks!  Winter just refuses to leave this year.  We've had snow today here in North Carolina -- how about you?  It looked like Spring yesterday when I walked Duncan at lunchtime.  There were daffodils blooming and Bradford Pears and Japanese Cherry trees in our neighbors' yards, but it didn't feel like Spring.  Hal and I were out yesterday evening, and one of the coldest winds I've ever encountered was blowing straight through our clothing.  Brrrr!
It's supposed to be cold here the rest of the week, with more chances of snow, so I thought I'd share this recipe with you for some good comfort food. I made Beef and Guinness stew this weekend for St. Paddy's Day, and I think it was a hit.  It was my first time to make this, although I have eaten it before.  We used to have an Irish restaurant in the next town over, and the owner had immigrated here from Ireland.  We found her food to be more authentically Irish than a lot of the Irish pubs around here.
  I'll be honest -- I'm not a big lover of beef stew.  My husband likes it though, and I won't say no to it on a cold, winter (or spring) evening.  I found two recipes online, and two in my cookbooks, so I kind of combined them to come up with what I thought sounded good.  The two recipes I combined were from Here and "The Spruce" Here.
For this recipe you'll need:
  • 3 slices of bacon cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 pounds of lean stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes 
  • 1/2 teas. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.9 oz.) can of Guinness stout
  • 1 c. of chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. of beef stock
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 2 teas. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Approximately 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 2-3 T. of brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
 In a large saucepan or Dutch oven (I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven) cook the bacon over medium heat, turning, until lightly browned.

 Remove the bacon, reserving bacon fat in pot.  Dry beef cubes with paper towels, and season them with salt and pepper to taste.  On medium/high heat, brown beef cubes, working in batches.  Once beef is browned on both sides, remove from pot.  At this point, add some oil to the bacon grease, if needed, and cook onions around five to eight minutes.  Add garlic and cook about one minute.  Now pour Guinness into your pot and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping up any browned bits of food into the liquid.  Add the beef and bacon back to the pot, along with beef and chicken stocks, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf.  Bring stew to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook at a low simmer for one to one and a half hours.

Now at this point, I took my pot off the stove, let it cool, and stored the stew in the refrigerator overnight.  The next afternoon, I heated the stew back up, added the carrots and mushrooms, then the brown sugar to the pot, and cooked for another hour to hour and a half.  I cooked mine for a total of about three hours because I had almost three pounds of beef.  The two recipes I used said to cook from 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours total.  If you want to thicken your liquid/gravy, you can boil the liquid to reduce and thicken, but I never have good luck with that method.  You can add quick-cooking tapioca or cornstarch, but I made a slurry with flour and water to thicken mine.  It made for a nice gravy.  Just start with about 1 rounded tablespoon of flour in a bowl and start adding water a little at the time and stirring until the flour dissolves in the water and thickens.  Add this to the liquid in the stew and stir continuously, so the flour doesn't lump, until dissolved.  I did this twice to get the consistency of gravy I desired.

You could make your stew all in one session if you prefer. 

To keep your carrots and mushrooms from turning mushy, add them about halfway through the total cooking time, after the beef is partially cooked.

We liked the addition of the fresh mushrooms, even though neither recipe that I used called for them as an ingredient.

 For the final touch, I made creamed potatoes because I don't really like potatoes cooked in a stew.  I arranged the mashed potatoes in a ring on each person's plate, then ladled stew into the center.  Everyone seemed to like it served that way.  If you prefer to cook the potatoes in your stew, the recipe from "The Spruce" calls for two to three cups of diced potatoes, added with the other vegetables.

So there you have it.  :)  This recipe looks like a lot of work, and in a way it was, but it made plenty of food and enough for leftovers.  Also, the beef was fork tender, but lean, too.  I'll definitely make this again next winter.

 Do you have a favorite beef stew recipe?  I appreciate your visit and hope you're staying warm wherever you are.  Have a great week!

Thanks to Mr. Forest Manor for taking great food photos for me!!



  1. That looks absolutely delicious! It snowed here again yesterday (western NC), I am so ready for spring!!

  2. Hi Denise! I've made the Guinness Irish Stew, and liked it very much. This year I made a Cottage Pie, which is like Shepherd's Pie, but made with beef instead of lamb. Mr. Forest Manor did such a great job with your photos. Your new header is so pretty, and seeing Duncan in there gave me a smile. Happy first week of Spring!

  3. It looks delicious Denise! We also had Guinness Stew on St. Patty's day but someone else cooked it and we enjoyed it in their home with an Irish themed table. Stay warm!!!

  4. This looks so good Denise. I was looking for a recipe to create this dish. Who says you can't have it after St. Patrick's Day. Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. This looks like real good comfort food!

  6. Denise, your stew sounds like great comfort food on a cold evening.It does sound like a lot of work. I have gotten so lazy lately to do complicated recipes.
    I am so impressed with the quality of your photos. Food is so hard to photograph for me. Hal did a great job. I need some lessons.
    Hope the weather will improve soon for you.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Blog Designer