Friday, February 4, 2011

Guinness Beef Stew

I love beer. I really love Guinness. If you ever want to make me happy, bring me Guinness. Or better yet, chocolate Guinness cake which, I've had once and obtained and lost the recipe. My new mission is to find it again and share the deliciousness with you.

I've been home for the last 2 weeks, off on maternity leave. Apparently, my job is too far away from the hospital and because of my complications, they're keeping me on a tight leash. Swell. I really don't mind too much, except I'm a bit bored. What better to do than bake and cook my days away? (I don't think The Husband minds much either...he's actually getting home cooked meals again.)

So, I'm stuck at home, knocked up, bored and avoiding (read: not really able to) leaving the house due to the "Snowmageddon" snow storm that covered like 30 states or something like that. Yeah, we got a bunch of snow, it was cold and windy as what. Sorry- anyway- I decided to make some beef stew. Yummyness.

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 lb. Stew Meat (yes, the label really says "Stew Meat")
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (I didn't have fresh, so I used the minced crap in a jar, this is an estimate of how much I used)
1 12 oz. bottle of Guinness
4 c beef stock (I use low or no sodium)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp tomato paste
.5 tsp cayenne pepper
.5 tsp Kosher salt
1.5 tsp sugar
4-6 whole carrots, unpeeled, washed, very roughly sliced
4-6 new potatoes, very roughly sliced
black pepper, freshly ground - to taste
Water, if needed

In a large skillet, melt butter and add olive oil. Add the meat to brown. I cooked to about medium temperature. While that's cooking, chop your onion. Don't cry, it's just the onion. You should also dice your garlic at this time too...unless you're lazy like me and use the jarred crap. When the meat is browned, remove to a separate cutting board.

Add the diced onions and saute until soft. While that's cooking, cut your meat into smaller, more bite-sized bits. Next, add your garlic and cook for a bout a minute more.

Once the onion and garlic are soft, I transferred them and the remaining liquid from the pan into a large stock pot, as you can see below.

Mmmmm, Guinness.

Measure your Guinness (if you're like me, you get a bigger bottle and drink half...just make sure you save 12 oz. for the stew) and add to the stock pot.

Add in the beef stock. (or in my case, veggie stock, because I had none. Nor did I have any beef bouillon, but truly, no one knew the difference)

Add your tomato paste. You could use more than the recommended amount, if you'd like. Hell, I probably did. I don't measure anything.

Next the Worcestershire Sauce. Notice I didn't clean the measuring spoon from when I added the tomato paste. Again, I don't care that much.

Then, add your sugar, salt, Cayenne pepper and fresh ground pepper. You don't have to separate it here, but I didn't want to have 17 photos of adding various spoons of crap into the stew. That's right, I care about you, the reader, and your time, and your eye balls.

Mmm, meat, in bite-sized pieces.

Toss your meat (gently because the liquid is hot) back into the pot.

After all of the meat is back into the pot, cover and simmer over low heat. Take about a 2 hour time out. Put your feet up, drink a little of the Guinness if you want. Relax. Your meat needs time to tenderize.

Mmmm, carrots. And potatoes.

Coarsely or roughly chop your carrots and potatoes. I cut them into bite sized pieces. The Husband said he like them like that, a bit on the bigger side. I think he feels this stew is "manly-er" because everything was a bit bigger than in the canned soup crap that he eats. ::shudder::

Add your potatoes and carrots to the pot. At this time, you could TOTALLY add other veggies. I contemplated doing so as well but got lazy. I wanted to watch the blizzard rather than chop more stuff.

Cover again, and let simmer at least 45 minutes. Sample the veggies to make sure they're cooked. You should probably sample some more Guinness too. If the soup needs anything more; seasoning, WATER if it's too thick, etc., add it here and simmer a few minutes more.

(Directions without pictures)
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet or pan (you could make this into a 1 Pot Dish or Crock Pot Recipe, but I chose not to.) over medium-high heat. Brown meat. While that's cooking, chop and mince your onions and garlic, keeping them separate. Once meat is cooked, set aside, onto a cutting board. Cut pieces in half and save for later.

Add diced onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about another minute. Transfer to large sauce pan or crock pot.

Pour in beer and beef stock. Add Worcestershire, tomato paste, Cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and sugar. Add beef back into the pot. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Coarsely chop carrots and potatoes (and other veggies if desired) and add into the pot. Cover and cook for an additional 45-ish minutes. If your stew is too dry, add hot water as needed. Sample and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve with buttered bread, salad, etc. Whatever. Just ENJOY!

I served this with some buttered Everything Bagel Bread. Soooooo good. The Husband agrees.

Makes about 4 larger servings.

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