Continuing on with the St. Patrick’s Day and Irish food theme I have a recipe for one of the most amazing stews I’ve ever had! I’m not kidding. To borrow a saying from my wife’s southern root… this is a “slap your grandma” kind of stew.
Now ladies, they say the way to a man heart is through his stomach. And as a man I must say…It’s true! Showing a man that you can cook, and cook well, can go a long way. So pay attention to this recipe. (Men, you too.) This is by far the BEST stew I have ever had! This is not your grandmothers Monday night special comprised of left over pot roast from Sunday. This is a bonafide, made from scratch, leave them wanting more, stew. I came across this recipe a few years back while looking for a stew to make for St. Patrick’s Day and now it’s tradition. It’s the perfect dish to celebrate the luck of the Irish or for any other occasion. So put the carton soup from Trader Joe’s back on the shelf and give this stew a try.
- 1 1/2 pounds of beef stew meat cup into 1-inch pieces (a stew is the perfect place to use those tougher, more well-marbled pieces of meat. In fact, you don’t want to use a lean piece. You also don’t want to have large pieces of fat in there either so do a little trimming.)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, minced (I like more garlic so I use around 10 cloves)
- 6 cup’s of beef stock (roughly 3 cans)
- 1 cup of nice red wine (I like a nice Merlot or Cabernet..and more than a cup is never a problem.)
- 1 cup Guinness (I go with the extra stout)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Worcesershire sauce
- 1 tbsp thyme, dried (If you use fresh thyme 1 1/2 tbsp)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp butter (1/4 stick)
- 3 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 – 1/2 pieces (approximately 7 cups)
- 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 – 1/2 cups)
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3 cups mushrooms, quartered (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Begin by heating oil in a large pot or dutch over over medium-high heat. Olive has a low smoke point so you don’t want to have things up too high.
Take you pieces of beef and lightly salt the. One piece at a time add the beef to the hot pan. Make sure you don’t just dump the meat in or over crowd the pan or the beef will steam and not brown. This may require working in smaller batches. Using tongs, turn each piece until it is browned on each side. Do not stir the meat! The purpose of this is not to cook the meat through but to brown it on each side. If you are working in smaller batches this will require you to remove the pieces as they are done browning and new ones. Continue this process until all the meat is browned then place all the meat back in the pot, add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add Guinness, red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to bring is all together and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 1 hour making sure to stir occasionally.
While the pot is simmering there are things that need to be done. Take the butter and melt it in another pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms (optional) and potatoes. Saute all the vegetables until they reach a golden color then set aside until the beef pot has finished simmering a full hour.
Once the beef has simmered an hour, add the vegetables to the beef stew. Simmer uncovered until the beef and the vegetables are very tender, around 45 minutes. Take out the bay leaves and discard them. There may be visible fat on top of the stew, tilt the pan and spoon it off. If the stew is not thick enough, you can always make a rue or add corn starch. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-6 people.
One of the great things about this stew is that it gets better with age. It can be made up to 2 days a head of time and then reheated. Makes for perfect left overs of to be reheated on a weekend camping trip. I think you’ll agree that this is the best stew you’ve ever had. Happy Cooking!