In the course of the last week we've gone from keeping the windows open in the house to wearing sweatshirts and watching it rain. Oh, how we need the rain! Even though it's already November I feel it's only now time that I start cooking fall/winter comfort food items; things like soup, pot pie, and stew.
I belong to a small food board. We share recipes there and it's the first place I go to on the web to look for a recipe. The ladies who belong to this board never let me down, they are wonderful cooks and bakers. Betsy pointed us all in the direction of this stew and, one by one, we've all been making it. Today was my turn and I wasn't disappointed. The recipe was originally found on Cooks Country (recipe here). Each of us has tweaked the recipe a bit to suit our tastes. Though the recipe does take some time to make, most of that time is in the oven. It's very easy to put together. We are still curing our wood oven so we cooked this in that oven. Unfortunately, for me, we had a torrential downpour as I was putting the veggies in the stew! It's not everyday I get drenched cooking dinner!
The recipe calls for a boneless chuck roast, that is then cut into cubes. At the grocery store I went to, the roast was $4-something a pound. "Stew meat" was virtually the same price. As the stew cooks for such a long period of time, I didn't think meat quality would make that much difference so I went with easy and bought the pre-cut meat. Call me lazy, I don't care!
Beer & I don't agree much but I couldn't leave it out as it is such a big part of the recipe. The brown sugar tempered it some and I found the flavor to be quite nice.
The stew, along with a baguette of sourdough bread, made a wonderful and filling meal. This won't be the last time we have this stew this winter!
GUINNESS BEEF STEW
1 ( 3 1/2 to 4-pound) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled apart at seams, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1 (12-ounce) bottle Guinness Draught, divided
4 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon mince fresh thyme (or equivalent dried)
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Season the beef with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the onions and salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 1 minute.
Whisk in the beef broth, 3/4 cup of the Guinness, brown sugar and thyme, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beef and return to a simmer.
Transfer the pot to the oven and cook, uncovered, for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
Stir in the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of Guinness and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Don't know what to do with the rest of the can of tomato paste? Put one tablespoon dollops (is that a word?) onto waxed paper, freeze for 10-15 minutes until firm. Then store in freezer Ziploc bags. Whenever you need a little tomato paste, just grab a dollop or two!