Irish Stew with Guinness
Traditionally made with lamb or beef, Irish stew is one of the mainstays of Irish cuisine. As with most types of stews in world cuisine many versions of “authentic” Irish stew exist. The following version is my personal favorite.
2 pounds stewing beef or lamb shoulder
3 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
2 leeks, washed well and sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 1/4 cups Guinness
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
3 medium carrots cut into 1 inch chunks
2 medium parsnips cut into 1 inch chunks
2 ribs celery cut into 1 inch pieces
½ tsp dried thyme (or 1 fresh sprig)
1 bay leaf
2 potatoes cut into large chunks
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Cut the meat into 2 inch cubes. Toss beef with 1 tablespoon of the oil. In a small bowl, season the flour with salt and pepper. Toss meat with seasoned flour.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat, add the onions, leeks, crushed garlic and tomato puree and cook gently for 5 minutes. Pour half of the Guinness into the skillet. Bring Guinness to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices in the pan. Pour the remaining Guinness, beef broth and Worcestershire over the meat. Add the carrots, parsnips, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Stir and adjust seasonings. Cover the dutch overn and simmer over low heat, or in a 300 degree F oven until the meat is tender, 2 to 3 hours adding the potatoes during the last 45 minutes of cooking.
Combine the melted butter and flour and stir into the simmering stew. Gently stir into the stew and gently simmer for 5 minutes more till the stew thickens.
Garnish the beef with parsley and serve with Irish soda bread or a whole grain brown bread.
Yield: 6 servings