Guinness Beef Stew
Rich, dark Guinness stout gives this beef stew a huge, flavorful boost.
4 T vegetable oil
Beef: in a Dutch oven, heat oil till hot and brown beef in small batches, removing each batch before adding the next one. Drain any remaining oil, add 1T fresh oil and sauté onions until lightly browned. Return meat and juices to pot. Add thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, Guinness and beef broth. Cover and bring to a low simmer. Cook gently for 1-2 hours, till beef is tender.
Assembly: add vegetables, except peas, and simmer till tender, about 15 minutes. Add peas and cook 5 minutes more. Remove meat and vegetables to a casserole. Reduce broth till slightly thickened. Stir in parsley and pour over meat and vegetables before serving. Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes, or Irish Colcannon.
Tips & Glossary
A special note about these recipes: they came from my friend Nan who lived in Ireland for several years. She married an Irishman, and the two returned to the US with their then-young family. These recipes are some of the family standbys. Nan is both a discerning reader and a wonderful cook.
Irish cooking is quite familiar to many Americans, and so you won't find surprises in the ingredient or spice lists. You probably have much of what's called for in your pantry—or else it's readily available in any grocery store.
Root vegetables are a staple of the Irish: potatoes, carrots, and parsnips are particular favorites. In Ireland, vegetables are served simply, but with lots of butter.
Meats are subjected to the slow-cook method. That's because, historically, the Irish used less-expensive, tougher cuts of meat. Our Irish Lamb Stew, for instance, actually calls for meat from the lamb's neck, not exactly the most tender cut of meat.
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