Guinness Beef Stew

Dec 16th

TV watching with husbands is a funny thing. Thank goodness for Hulu on our Apple TV because we binge on seasons of shows that we both like – Friday Night Lights, Lost, Parenthood and Scandal to name a few. But there are those in betweens when he’ll be preoccupied and I’ll put on E News or the other way around with Sports Center (is that one word?). Cooking shows is one area I’ve learned to stay away from as his patience runs very low.

After putting Tess down for a nap a few Saturdays ago I saw that America’s Test Kitchen’s tv show was doing an episode on Guinness Beef Stew. The intro included a little history lesson on the beer and since it’s one of our favorites, I called Rich into the living room. Before I knew it he had watched the entire show without complaining or falling asleep! He said, “we should make this!”. Honestly, shock doesn’t begin to describe my feeling since he asked me the other day if I could make him TEA because he didn’t know how.

So on a snowy Sunday not so long after this revelatory experience, we made stew together. He refused to read the recipe and ended up working the sole job of hacking up the meat; helpful but not exactly the idyllic bonding session I’d expected. We didn’t even bond over eating our stew because we just made lots of yummm sounds and then collapsed on the couch in a stew coma. This stew is GOOD. The “broth” so to speak is so amazing my mouth is watering as I type this. We are having stew leftovers tonight and I can’t even wait!

Guinness Beef Stew

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 6-8

3 1/2 – 4 lb boneless beef chuck roast or top round roast
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
3 c. chicken broth
1 can Guinness Draught, divided
1 1/2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes or fingerlings, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees and set rack in lowest position in oven.

2. Cut away any large chunks of fat from roast and cut meat into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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3. Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in dutch oven or large oven-proof pot. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown (about 15 minutes).

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4. Add tomato paste and garlic and let cook, stirring frequently, until mixture turns a darker red – about 3 minutes.

5. Add flour and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

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6. Add broth, 3/4 c. beer, brown sugar and thyme and stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pot well with a wooden spoon or whisk. Bring mixture to simmer over high heat.

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7. Add meat, stir and return mixture to simmer. Place pot in oven without the lid. Set oven for 2 hours, but stir every 45 minutes.

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8. After two hour hours, add carrots and potatoes and stir to combine. Add lid to pot and return to oven. Set timer for 1 1/2 hours and stir mixture every 30 minutes.

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9. Remove from oven and stir in 1 c. Guinness and parsley. Serve.

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