Last weekend was glorious. It finally starts to feel like summer is coming. The sun was up, it was finally warm enough to ditch most layers. There was a flea market along the bridge and we discovered a big park not far from we live, that reminds me of Central Park in NYC complete with a story telling corner, animal corner and bee farm. I finally get what the French I met in Angola are complaining about on what they are missing from life. H & I made a pact of some sort. We would not spend a single day at home, not even for a nap.
Anyway, H has been craving beef stew since the weather is still very cold and wet. I’ve tried many beef stew recipes, from using beer to red wine. But this is actually the first time I’m having both in a single pot. Considering how expensive a can of Guinness is vs a bottle of red wine, I’m so happy this turned out excellent. In fact, I would go as far and say I won’t bother making Boeuf Bourguignon anymore. When we crave for a good stew, this Irish beef stew would be it.
The recipe is excellent as it is. The only change I made was adding a good handful of Champignon de Paris (aka your everyday button mushroom). I personally like the stew to be thicker, which can be achieved had I dredge the meat with flour before browning or let the stew cook longer. But it seems that in this era of masterchefs and professional home cook, sauce reduction is preferred over dredging.
SIMPLY RECIPES’ IRISH BEEF STEW
(slightly adapted from Simply Recipes)
1/4 C olive oil
500-600 gr well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-1.5 cm (NOT extra-lean)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 C beef stock or canned beef broth
1 C of Guinness beer
1 C of fine red wine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
Abt 1.2 kg potatoes, (3-4 medium size) peeled, cut into 1-1.5 cm
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 medium-sized carrots, chopped 1-1.5 cm
Abt 150 gr button mushroom, halved or quartered depending on size
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces.
- Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue until all sides are browned, about 5 mins.
- Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.
- Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion, carrots & mushroom. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.
- Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
- Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.