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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guinness Beef Stew

Growing up, March 17th, more commonly known as St. Patrick’s Day, wasn’t much more than an ordinary day. I usually sported some green to avoid any pinches, but the celebrating stopped there. It wasn’t until I moved to St. Louis that I discovered that, for some people, St. Patrick’s Day is a really big deal! Such a big deal, in fact, that people take the day off of work for St. Patrick’s Day!

Ironically enough, I was off work on St. Patrick’s Day 2010. However, you couldn’t find me at the parade in Dogtown or one of St. Louis’ many Irish pubs (though I did run the St. Patrick’s Day race the weekend before!). We spent last March 17th on vacation in sunny Arizona. This year, again, we will be vacationing while St. Louisans proudly celebrate their heritage (or pretend to be Irish). Instead of skipping the celebrating altogether, I decided to celebrate the best way I know how: in the kitchen.

This Guinness Beef Stew has all the makings of a good St. Patrick’s Day meal—warm, comforting, and full of beer! When you pick up a pack of Guinness for your celebration, set one aside for this stew. Whether or not you’re a beer lover (I’m not), I guarantee you will fall for this classic meal.

Ryan, my Irish-blooded husband, couldn’t stop singing my praises after I served him this for dinner. He raved about the flavors and happily ate the leftovers for a few days. Aside from some chopping and then browning the beef, the crockpot does all the work for this one! I threw the stew together and then let our slow cooker work its magic for several hours. If your kitchen is without a crockpot, I suggest running out to get one. Immediately. Then click here for a slew of easy crockpot recipes. Actually, I’m pretty certain this stew could also be cooked over the stovetop, left to simmer for a few hours, or baked in the oven at a fairly low temperature. Don’t stop at the stew in making your holiday meal. I recommend serving the stew with some Irish soda bread. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with Guinness and Irish Bailey’s Cream cupcakes!

 Don’t delay in making this perfect St. Patrick’s Day meal. Let the scent of Guinness and beef fill your home as you close your eyes and imagine the rolling green hills of Ireland!

Note--this article was originally written for and posted on the University City Patch.

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Guinness Beef Stew
adapted from Vintage Victuals

-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-1.5-2 lbs boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
-1/4 cup flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 large onion, roughly sliced
-1-2 baking potatoes, roughly chopped
-3 large carrots, coarsely chopped
-3-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1 (16 oz.) Guinness
-1 tbsp Worcestershire
-1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1 bay leaf
-1 (15.5 oz) can low-sodium beef broth
-3 tbsp tomato paste
-salt & pepper, to taste

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. After cleaning beef and patting to dry, toss with 2 remaining 2 tbsp oil. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper, making sure all pieces are coated. Cook meat just until browned on both sides (2-3 minutes a side). (Beef will still be raw)
2. Add all vegetables to the crockpot, followed by the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce. Add thyme and bay leaf.
3. Add broth and tomato paste to the skillet, using a wooden spoon to scrape the browned meat bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the entire mixture into the crockpot, stirring to combine everything. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 4-6 hours until meat is tender and vegetables are fork tender. remove bay leaf and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, or bread.