I’ve been asked for this recipe a few times, especially as of today after I had taken a large crockpot-full into work for my lovely colleagues: my Irish Guinness Beef Stew. I apologize on the photo not being the best. It’s hard to make anything look good in a paper bowl under fluorescent lighting in an office. Hehe.
Now, I have to tell you, this is a recipe I’ve had running around in my head for quite some time, but it keeps evolving with every new technique I learn in the kitchen and every nifty pointer I learn from watching too-many-hours-to-count of Food Network programming.
With that in mind, I thought I’d share my most recent rendition, hoping to remember all the steps and ingredients I took/used this time around. (Bear with me!) In the past, I have done this in a crockpot and thickened on the stove after the fact. I’ve also done it solely on the stovetop. this time, I’ve done a combo of stove-oven-crockpot and I’ve found that it works really, really well.
First, you’re going to need a large oven roasting pot (not a pan) or a Dutch oven pot. You can either first brown the meat in a pan and then drain it and put it into the pot, or you can do a one-pot thing, which is how I did it.
- 1.5-2 lbs your choice of beef (I refuse to use stewing beef, so I used Angus Eye of Round steaks, cubed)
- 1-2 C all purpose flour
- seasonings of your choice; I used the following:
- Club House Roasted Garlic & Red Pepper seasoning
- Kosher salt
- onion salt
- garlic powder
- powdered thyme
- dried oregano
- freshly ground black pepper
- oil of your choice (2-3 Tbsp, separated)
- 1 large onion, sliced or chopped how you prefer (I like thick slices)
- 1 can of Guinness draught
- 2 Tbsp garlic
- 2 stalks of celery, sliced
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
- 4-5 medium or 2-3 large potatoes (I used white new potatoes), peeled and cubed
- 7-8 cups beef broth/stock (or 2 boxes of Campbell’s beef broth) – I use low sodium
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste or barbecue sauce or H1 (steak) sauce
- 5-6 dashes Worchestershire sauce
- 2-3 dashes soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp white sugar
- 2 pints of white/button mushrooms, cut into quarters, stems trimmed
- 2 large bay leaves (or 3 small ones)
- Preheat your oven to 300F.
- In a bowl, toss the cubed beef around in a bit of the oil (1 Tbsp) just enough to moisten it.
- In another bowl, mix together the flour and seasonings of your choosing, being sure to season the flour well. Don’t be shy! I’d add a tablespoon or three of the seasonings that don’t say “salt” and maybe a teaspoon or a few pinches of anything that says “salt”. If you have onion powder instead of salt, even better. (This is just based on what I did last night.)
- Heat your stewing pot on a medium heat, adding in the remaining oil. Once hot, add the meat, browning up all sides. Brown the meat in batches, if necessary. If you add too much at once, the pot’s heat will plummet and the meat won’t brown up nicely. If the meat and flour mixture gets too dry, feel free to add a little more oil if necessary.
- Once the meat has been browned up on all sides, toss all meat back into the pot, add the onions, then pour in the entire can of Guinness to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Give this mixture a good mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula and give the onions a moment to soften.
- Once the onions have softened a bit, add the garlic, celery, carrots and potatoes. Pour in the beef broth at this point and give everything a good mix again as everything starts to warm up.
- Bring all of this to a boil (raise the heat to medium-high if you need to), then add the tomato paste (or substitution), Worchestershire sauce, soy sauce, sugar and mushrooms. Drop the heat back down to allow this to simmer for a few moments until the mushrooms don’t look quite so raw, then remove the pot from the heat.
- Give the gravy a quick (and careful!) taste to see if you feel it needs anything else — I’d wait to salt it until after it comes out of the oven, though. Then toss the bay leaves in, cover the pot with a lid and put the pot in the oven. Bake at 300F for an hour and a half.
- Remove the pot from the oven and (again, carefully!) give the sauce another quick taste to see if it needs more salt, pepper, etc. Adjust as necessary. Also, skim off any excess fat which usually floats up along the top. You can either use a large spoon to carefully skim it off, or use a few clean paper towels, lightly running them one by one along the top of the stew — they will initially only sop up the grease. Once it really starts to sop up gravy, you should stop.
- Remove the bay leaves and then serve with a nice fresh bread (for sopping up the gravy!). Irish soda bread is really nice with this stew. Feel free to serve with Guinness to drink, too!
I’ll note that this did not make a super thick gravy in the stew. It made something between a stew and a hearty soup. If you prefer a thicker gravy, you might want to spend a bit of time thickening it up before or after the oven step, using some gravy thickener or a slurry, etc. Personally, I liked it just how it was. 🙂
And finally, when I served it at work, I brought it in my crockpot to warm it up and keep it warm for lunch. That’s the only time I used my crockpot in this recipe!