Probably the best stew ever! Delicious for St. Patrick's Day or any other cool day!
I've made many many different types of stew, and this is definitely the very best I have concocted. It's all about the Guinness Stout Beer that makes this the hearty stew I love most. The gravy is dark and thick, the meat is tender and the tender veggies are just right with the extended simmering. Plus, I make it all in one pot – it’s that easy!
Sop up some of that gravy with a heavy Irish Skillet Bread slathered with honey and butter, and drain a glass of Guinness Stout Beer…there, you have the making of a wonderful lunch or dinner. A couple slices of Marieke’s Honey Clover Gouda Cheese made right here in Wisconsin, adds another dimension of flavors to your meal.
I was worried that adding beer to one of my regular stew recipes might make it bitter...but, no way. The Guinness Stout Beer is perfect, adding a thick creaminess to the gravy portion of the stew. The beer melds all the flavors together, making you want to come back for more. It is downright delicious when served up with a crusty Irish Soda Bread along with honey and butter.
It’s easy to make, just like many other stews. Start with a good quality stew meat or chuck roast, nicely marbled. Not too much fat, and stay away from gristly meats. But, before you brown the stew meat, brown up some bacon so you have bacon fat in which to brown your meat and sauté the flavorful veggies.
Shake your raw meat in a plastic bag with flour, flavored with salt and pepper and brown it. Sauté the onions and celery, add some garlic and get your other veggies going. Put everything together in your stew pot with sodium free beef bouillon, a bay leaf, and let it simmer for about 3 hours. Add a little thickener at the end, only if you need it. When you simmer it on the stove it will probably take less time than simmering it in a slow cooker or in the oven. Whichever way you prefer, make sure you allow plenty of time to get that beef stew meat nice and tender.
This stew makes 4-6 healthy servings.
Prep your pan:
I used a covered 4-quart ceramic coated stock pot with a little extra virgin olive oil sprinkled on the inside. My pot is wide enough to spread out the bacon while it fries. And, it’s spacious enough not to crowd the stew meat while it’s browning. It’s deep enough for the liquids to simmer without spewing out of the pot if I happen to leave the cover off. But I did leave the cover on for most of the 3 hours while it simmered.
Gather the ingredients:
2 T Extra virgin olive oil
3 Bacon slices, thick, cut in chunks
1 ½ Lbs Stew meat, nicely marbled, cut in 1-2” chunks
1 T flour in a plastic zipper bag
½ t salt
Pinch black pepper
1 Onion, large, cut in quarters
2 Celery stalks, cleaned and cut into 1-2” chunks
2 Garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
4 Mushrooms, large, cut into quarters
4 Carrots, cleaned and cut into 1-2” chunks
8oz Tomato sauce
1 Bay leaf
2 C Beef bouillon, low- or no-sodium
1 T Sugar
1 Can (14-15 oz) Guinness Draft Stout Beer
Get going on the Stew:
- On the stovetop, heat up the extra virgin olive oil in your stock pot. Remember, this entire stew can be made right in this one pot.
- Brown the chopped-up bacon slices, then remove and set aside.
- Brown the stew meat in the bacon fat, making sure all sides are browned. The meat does not need to be cooked through since that will happen as the stew simmers.
- Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.
- Sauté the onions and celery until translucent.
- Add the rough chopped garlic cloves and heat through. Don’t burn the garlic or you’ll have a nasty flavoring in your stew.
- Remove all from the stock pot and pour in 1 cup of the beef bouillon. (I add a couple teaspoons of dried beef bouillon to a couple cups of warm water to make my beef stock.) Bring it to a low boil, and scrape all the brown goodies from the bottom. That’s where a lot of the flavor lives.
- Pour in the rest of the beef bouillon. Add a couple cups of water if you desire more gravy in your mixture.
- Stir all the vegetables, tomato sauce, stew meat and bacon and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to a low simmer.
- Stir in the entire can of Guinness Stout Beer. (Okay, you can have a little sip if you like.)
- Let simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. - The liquid should not reduce much, but if it does feel free to add a some water.
- At the 2-hour mark, bring the stew to a low boil. If you like it a little thicker than what it is, stir in a combination of flour and water. (Whisk a tablespoon of flour into a cup of warm water so there are not lumps.) Stir the flour mixture until it’s completely combined. Let it thicken a bit and turn the heat down so it’s at a low simmer again.
- Simmer for another hour. Taste a piece of meat and a piece of carrot to check for tenderness. If they are set for your degree of tenderness, it’s time to serve it up and enjoy! Be sure to salt and pepper to taste and remove the Bay Leaf.
- Serve it in a bowl with cheese and a crusty Irish Soda Bread alongside. Honey and butter on the bread bring it all together. Top it off with a glass of Guinness Stout Beer.
This is such an easy stew to make and the 3 hour simmer can be done in an afternoon while you're doing something else, making the stew ready for dinner on a cold winter day. Or, make the stew the evening before and heat it up for lunch the next day. Either way, a stout beer alongside makes for a delicious way to “Bake your own Memories!”