First question, fork or spoon?
Guinness Stew, the mother of all stews! There’s no greater comfort food than a rich, complex, and hearty stew! Incredibly straightforward to make, this recipe only requires a bit of patience to cook low-and-slow. Unnecessary bonus points for being an excellent freezer-friendly recipe!
The Guinness beer makes for a rich broth and deep depth of flavor. Don’t worry, the beer cooks off so it doesn’t taste boozy. This Guinness Stew is super straightforward to make, it just requires a bit of patience to let it simmer for a few hours. Bonus is, this recipe freezes incredibly well!
I was actually saving this beautiful piece of meat from Sonoma Meat Company for the holidays but was having a bad day. It was torrential rain and high winds in San Francisco (not to mention crazy-cold), so-much-so my dog Pesto refused to go outside. Apparently he was never going to use to washroom again and I was pulling out all of the tricks to no avail.
To top that off, both of my teams were eliminated from the world cup at a VERY early stage. For a soccer fanatic like me, it was dramatically soul crushing and frustrating. So, it was natural to sacrifice the holiday meat and make up something that could ease my broken soul. Enter this warm hug of a meal, also known as Guinness Stew.
- 1 large Dutch oven
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 wooden spoon
- paper towel
- 2 large plate one to hold raw beef and the other for cooked
- 2½ lb beef chuck may use lamb to make it traditional; cut into large 2" pieces of meat; do NOT buy pre-cut stew meat
- kosher salt for salting the meat and seasoning
- black pepper for salting the meat and seasoning
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 yellow onions may sub white; chopped
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 6 oz thick cut bacon or pancetta; diced
- 4 carrots large-size; peeled and cut into 1½" pieces
- 4 celery stalks large-size; trimmed and cut into 1½" pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour may use less or skip if you like a soup-like consistency
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 14.9 oz Guinness Beer 1 can
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce optional but I really love the flavor it brings
- 4 cups beef stock may sub chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Cut the beef into large 2" chucks. Pat the chunks of beef dry with a paper towel and sprinkle both sides generously with kosher salt and black pepper. I mean generously! Go ham!Err on the bigger side for this recipe; you do not want small cubes of meat. Larger pieces are necessary so they can hold up during the cooking process and remain tender. Small pieces will overcook and/or breakdown in the stew.
- Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, like a Dutch oven. Add beef in batches and brown aggressively on all sides. I did this in 2 batches in a 6.75 quart Dutch oven. Remove seared beef onto a clean plate. Repeat with remaining meat. Set aside cooked meat for later.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add a little more oil if the pot is dry. Don't be scared if it looks like the pot is now burnt on the bottom. All that gunk will remove itself during the cooking process and turn into MAJOR flavor! Cook onion and garlic for 3 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add bacon; cook until browned.
- Add celery and carrots; stir to combine.
- Sprinkle flour overtop; stir until flour cooks off, about 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste, Guinness beer, and beef stock; stir until well combined (to disperse flour).
- Add bay leaves and thyme. Return seared beef (plus any juices) to the pot. The liquid should just cover the meat. Cover, turn heat to the lowest setting (we're aiming for a gentle bubble). Cook for 2 hours.
- Remove lid, stir, and then simmer for a further 30-45 minutes ,until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
- Taste, and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and thyme leaves (optional). Serve over mashed potatoes or straight up with thick bread.