Sunday, June 29, 2008

Simply Recipes: Irish Beef Stew

My mom has been making beef stew for years, mostly in the colder months, but it always has kind-of a bland flavor to it. I've longed for something punchier, with more flavor, more oomph. When I saw the recipe for Irish Beef Stew, with Guinness and tomato paste, I decided I might have hit the jackpot. The result? Rich, flavorful, and satisfying.

Irish Beef Stew
From Simply Recipes, based on a recipe from Fidel Murphy's Irish Pub on Grand Cayman Island

¼ cup olive oil
1¼ pounds stew beef (1-inch pieces)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock
1 cup Guinness beer
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped, or 1 bag pearl onions
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut in ½-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about five minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

While meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions, and carrots. Saute vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew has simmered for at least one hour.

Check beef meat for doneness. If beef is still tough, cook for additional half hour. When beef is tender, add vegetables to stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Salt and pepper to taste. Top individual servings with parsley.

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