Best Ever Beef Stew - It's the Guinness!


It is funny how we gravitate to those dishes that are going to warm us up and fill us up!  With the colder weather we need a few extra calories to burn to keep warm.   So, it is in the winter that I appreciate a bowl of hearty stew.  I must admit that I am picky.  For me to really enjoy it, the stew must have ample carrots.  Odd, I know, but my uncle promised me that my eyes would turn blue if I ate my carrots.  I am still waiting for that to happen, but just in case he was right, I continue to eat my carrots. After carrots, I want all the good things in one bowl!

As I looked for all of the usual good things, I found that the best flavor is an unusual ingredient or two.  This year, Terry claimed that the stew was the best he had ever had.  He may have just been really cold and hungry but, I agreed with him so I knew that I had landed on something.  What was different about this recipe?  I would guess that it was the Guinness which always adds an extra depth of flavor but there was also bacon and my favorite, mushrooms!  The recipe was a winner.

Best Ever Beef Stew - It's the Guinness!
adapted from

2 Tbsp olive oil (more, if needed)
2 1/2 lb sirloin tips, cut into 1 1/2 cubes
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, rough chop
4-6 strips of bacon, sliced into lardons
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
15 oz Guinness beer
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups beef stock
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
3 ribs celery, rough cut
2 cups mushroom thick slices
3 sprigs thyme
3/4 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/4 tsp pepper flakes
2 cups baby potatoes, cut in half

Cut the beef into 1 1/2 - 2 inch chunks, pat dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven.  Add the beef and brown the pieces on all sides.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add bacon and continue to cook until the lardons are nicely browned. (about 5 minutes).  Lower the heat and add garlic, onions and mushrooms, cook 3-4 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery to the pot and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.

Add flour to the pan and mix well.  Allow mixture to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the Guinness to deglaze the pan.  Scrape up all of the bits.  Add the beef stock and tomato paste.  Mix well.

Return the browned beef to the pot along with any juices.   Add in the potatoes and thyme.  

Cover the mixture and reduce to a simmer.  Let the stew cook covered for two hours.  Remove the lid and let the stew continue to simmer for an additional 1-2 hours.  The sauce will reduce leaving a wonderful flavor.

Skim off any fat on the surface.  Remove the thyme stems.  Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and pepper.

Beer, bacon and mushrooms!  What a flavor!


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