I’m an Irish lass, and this year, I made my ancestors proud with a sensational beef stew. Since I’ve never made this dish before, I went with a fool-proof recipe from America’s Test Kitchen. This slow cooker recipe yields luscious beef, spoon-tender vegetables and a rich, beefy broth. Guinness is a classic ingredient in Irish stew, and this recipe enhances the beer’s complex flavor by adding bittersweet chocolate.
Make sure to buy the classic Guinness Draught and not the stronger Extra Stout. This recipe is written for a slow cooker, but since I don’t have one, I used my Dutch Oven and cooked it in a 275° oven for 7 hours.
Guinness Beef Stew
serves 6 to 8
“Make sure to buy large chunks of stew meat. Trim meat of excess fat, as necessary, and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Be gentle when stirring in the flour in step 3…the fork-tender beef will fall apart if stirred to aggressively.”
4 lbs boneless beef chuck stew meat
2 tblsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups Guinness Draught
1 tblsp light brown sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tblsp minced fresh parsley leaves
1. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large skilled over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half the beef until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert (or Dutch Oven) and repeat with additional 2 tsp oil and remaining beef.
2. Add remaining 2 tsp oil, onions, and 1/4 tsp salt to the skillet and cook until onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add broth, 1 1/4 cups stout, sugar, thyme, chocolate, and bay leaves and bring to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits. Transfer to slow cooker or Dutch oven.
3. Add carrots, parsnips, and potatoes to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 9 to 10 hours (or cook on high for 6 to 7 hours). Alternatively, place Dutch Oven, covered, in a 275° oven for 6 to 8 hours. Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup beer until smooth, then stir the mixture into slow cooker. Cook, covered until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper, discard bay leaf. Serve with Guinness and Irish Soda Bread.