Beer me some stew

. . . beef stew that is, and not just with any old beer, but the best stout around in my opinion—Guinness. Now sipping on a Guinness, while eating a hearty beef stew sounds like a complete night, but we’re going to use this treasured Irish stout as one of our featured ingredients. It gives us a rich flavor, with an earthy acidity that jives with the tender beef, and resulting gravy-goodness. We’ll throw some mixed-variety, baby potatoes, crimini mushrooms, garlic, baby carrots, cipollini onions, and thyme into the tub as well. All of this over a bowl of egg noodles? Yes. It. Must. Happen. Thank you forecast, because apparently we’re in for a cold & windy night, and a slowly-simmering beef stew is the perfect dinner solution.

I’ve made beef stew of many varieties—sometimes with plain stock, sometimes red wine—but I always tend to gravitate back to this version using stout. It’s March, and Saint Patrick’s Day is on the holiday horizon, and who am I to pass up an opportunity to be festive? (Don’t worry, we won’t dye the stew green.) Since I’m not a fan of corn beef & cabbage, it looks like stew will win-out this year! This recipe is best made on a day when you have some time to let the beef become very tender, and flavors meld together. I usually make this on a Sunday, or when I can start it in the afternoon, and though it makes quite a good amount, the leftovers are almost better!

5 from 1 reviews
Beef Stew with Guinness
Beef Stew gets a savory Guinness makeover , perfect for Saint Paddy's! Hearty and delicious with baby potatoes, mushrooms, cipollini onions, carrots and garlic.
Serves: large pot of beef stew & some leftovers
Prep time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 5 strips thick bacon, chopped (for making Lardoons)
  • 3-4 lbs boneless beef chuck (trimmed & cut into ~2 inch cubes)
  • 1.5 lb bag, mixed small potatoes (I used mix of blue, golden, red), cleaned & halved.
  • 16 oz 'Brown Baby Bella' Crimini Mushrooms, cleaned halved & trimmed
  • 16 oz bag baby carrots, cut into chunks
  • 8 oz bag cipollini onions, peeled, left whole.
  • 1 sweet white onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 - 14.5 oz cans Guinness stout beer (will use some of 2nd can)
  • 2 - 32-oz cartons beef stock (low sodium)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (for deglazing)
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tsp flour (for making roux)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) for browning meat/bacon
  • *Additional S&P to taste
What to do:
  1. Freeze strips of bacon for ~10 minutes, then chop into smaller pieces to crisp for making lardoons.
  2. Meanwhile, cut your boneless chuck into ~2 inch chunks.
  3. Preheat large (~10 oz) dutch oven, with 1 tsp EVOO, add bacon (lardoons) and crisp till brown, remove from pot & drain on paper towels, pouring off most of bacon fat from pot into separate bowl to be set aside for use later.
Brown Batches of Meat:
  1. Prepare a large bowl with a colander in it, for use as you finish browning meat to set aside.
  2. In same pot, add 1-2 tsp EVOO and place first batch of cubed beef in a single layer without overcrowding (you will have ~3 batches to brown), season beef with salt & pepper.
  3. Brown batch of cubed meat on medium for ~1 minute on both top & bottom sides.
  4. Transfer browned meat into bowl with colander, repeating with each batch until all meat is browned (it will not be cooked all the way through and will probably have some pink in center).
  5. Deglaze pot on medium with white wine, scraping up the browned bits from cooking the bacon/beef.
Aromatics & Roux:
  1. To the deglazed pot, pour back ~3T of the reserved bacon fat, sauté chopped sweet white onion, garlic, chopped carrot, and 1 sprig fresh thyme.
  2. Stirring occasionally on medium, cook veggies for ~7 minutes, adding a little of the stock as needed, remove thyme sprig.
  3. Add 2 T butter to the mix, stir, then add the ground mustard and sprinkle evenly with the flour, stirring to combine well (you will now have a thickened roux, add more flour is necessary), cook for ~2 mins.
Make the Stew:
  1. Slowly add in 1 can of Guinness, a little at a time, whisking to incorporate slowly.
  2. To the mix, now add back the browned beef, all collected juices, 4 cups beef stock, Worcestershire. 3 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves, salt & pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil slowly, then reduce heat to a simmer on low, partially covering pot, & cooking so meat becomes tender ~2 hours (stirring occasionally).
  4. To simmering pot, add-in potatoes, cipollini onions, Worcestershire, and ~1cup of the 2nd can of Guinness (add additional beef stock as necessary for consistency), and simmer on low for another 30 minutes, uncovered, liquid should reduce considerably.
  5. Lastly, add halved mushrooms, and any additional salt & pepper to pot, cooking for remaining 30 minutes, remove all remaining thyme sprigs & bay leaves as you stir.
  6. Add back the crisped bacon, combining well.
  7. *If stew isn't thickened enough, continue to simmer or increase heat briefly to evaporate-out some of the additional fluid uncovered. If too thick, add more stock. The meat should be very tender and breaking apart.
  8. Serve over cooked egg noodles, rice or with a side biscuit (I prefer serving over egg noodles)!
  9. Top with some fresh thyme leaves and chopped Italian parsley as desired.
This liquid additions to this soup may vary, and I added more stock and Guinness as time passed depending how long I let simmer in total. You can always continue to simmer longer to desired consistency. Adjust salt & pepper to your liking.
* The meat once browned and added back to stew initially appears very tough, but that will change after simmering for 3 hours, mine became extremely tender and fell apart.

I might go all out since I have Guinness, and also make some of our Guinness Brownies from last March! Beef and brownies, not sure that’s the best pairing, but it will certainly be a night of stomach pleasing deliciousness.

Beef stew may take time and hands-on preparation, but it’s worth the efforts on occasion, and tonight is good enough for me!

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Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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