Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beef and Guinness Stew

I tried a new beef stew recipe tonight, adapted only slightly from a recipe in The Washington Post. It was in an article about making meals ahead to put in the freezer. It says this can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. It’s everything they promised it would be—incredibly tender meat and rich, fragrant gravy. There seems to be a lot of taking the lid on/off and changing the cooking temperature but it worked so I wouldn’t change the directions. I made it exactly as listed below but with one slight change. I wanted the gravy to be somewhat thicker so I mixed cold water and corn starch (about 2 tablespoons) and added it in the final 10 – 20 minutes.

And the bonus—I had one large bottle of Guinness Stout, more than I needed in the recipe. I didn’t want to waste it. What a dilemma!

Beef and Guinness Stew

¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
2 ½ pounds cubed boneless chuck
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (2 cups)
2 tablespoons chili sauce
4 cups beef broth
12 ounces Guinness Stout
1 tablespoon raisins
1 teaspoon caraway seed
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
2 or 3 medium carrots, peeled and roll-cut (see NOTE)
About 3 parsnips, peeled and roll-cut into ½ -inch thick pieces
1 (8-ounce) turnip, peeled and cut into ½ -inch cubes
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Combine the flour, salt, and meat in a large resealable plastic food storage bag. Seal and shake to coat evenly.

Heat a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add half the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add half the meat, shaking off any excess flour back into the bag. Cook for several minutes, until the meat is browned on all sides but not cooked through, turning it as needed. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meat to a bowl; repeat with the remaining oil and meat. Discard any excess flour.

Use a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, then add the onions and stir to coat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until just softened, then clear a spot at the center of the pot and add the chili sauce. Cook for a few minutes then stir in the broth and beer.

Return all the meat to the pot, along with the raisins, caraway seed, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and increase the heat to medium-high; once the mixture comes to a boil, cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the carrots, parsnips, and turnip; reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and increase the heat to medium-high; once the stew comes to a boil, cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

NOTE: To produce roll-cut pieces on linear vegetables such as carrots and parsnips, make a cut on the diagonal, then rotate a quarter-turn before you make the next cut.

Source: Adapted from “The New Way to Cook Light” via The Washington Post.

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