Beef Stew For St. Patrick’s Day

Beef stew looks betterIn just three days, St. Patrick’s Day will be upon us.  In Irish tradition, this is a more religious holiday, which ends with a shared family meal.  Nowadays, this has become more of a party, with no shortage of Guinness and Jameson.  Yet if you were to choose the former route, and cook a good traditional Irish meal, I recently found a recipe for beef guinness stew:

Ingredients:

3 lbs cheap beef, cut into cubes

Canola oil for browning

Olive oil or butter

Fresh thyme

Fresh parsley

Bay leaf

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 onion, halved

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, halves

2 carrots, cut into 3-4 big pieces

6+ oz mushrooms, cleaned and quartered

1 cup beef or chicken stock

2 cups Guinness

Pinch cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions:

In a frying pan set over high heat, drizzle in some canola oil and sear the cubed meat to brown it.  Use tongs to turn the meat every few minutes.

Use a spatula to get any browned bits off the bottom of the pan, and add 1 tbsp of either oilive oil or butter.  Throw in the mushrooms and sauté until all liquid has been released and boiled off.

Add chopped carrots and chopped onions to the pan, stir and sauté until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown.

Remove carrot-onion-mushroom mix from the pan and set aside.

Add the Guinness into a large pot; bottled Guinness is better for this, since the level of carbonation in the can interferes with the cooking.

Add meat cubes into the pot, followed by the stock and tomato paste whisked in until blended, halved onion, halved carrot, bay leaf, chopped parsley, chopped thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne.

Leave the pot on the stove over a low flame so that the stew is just barely simmering, and leave for 2 hours.

Removed the bay leaf, halved onion and halved carrot from the mix.

Add in the sautéed veggie mix from before and stir, letting the stew cook for at least another half hour.

When you’ve decided your meat is tender enough, mash the butter and flour in a bowl to a paste.  Add a ladleful of stew liquid and whisk until well-blended, then add another ladleful and whisk again.

Pour this mix into the stew and stir carefully.  Bring the stew back to a low boil and simmer for at least 10 minutes until it thickens.