Yesterday I was on a cooking rampage. Woke up, shopped, cooked, ate, slept. Yep, that was my day. And I did it for fun. I roasted a chicken and some vegetables, made a vat of homemade mac and cheese, baked a cake and made today’s recipe…..Irish Beef Stew–sort of. Or really, boeuf bourguignon with a touch o’ the Irish (Guinness and potatoes–what else?).
I forgot to take the requisite photo of the ingredients–I guess I just got too excited about all the cookin’. Imagine, if you will: Stew meat, tomato paste, garlic, onion, pearl onions, carrots, beef stock, a bottle of Guinness or other stout, a handful of shiitake mushrooms, vegetable oil, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and flour.
In a heavy Dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset, heat the oil over high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and sear in batches until it’s all done. Set aside.
The bottom of the pan will be all brown, but hey! That’s ok–that’s where all the good stuff is. Toss in the onions and garlic and stir around.
The moisture in the onions will loosen the brown stuff and make the stew taste good.
Add a couple Tbsp of flour and stir around. Let cook for a few minutes.
Add the meat and any accumulated juices back to the pan.
Add half a can of tomato paste.
Pour in a carton of beef broth or stock.
Add in a bottle of Guinness or some other stout. SOMEONE who shall remain nameless drank my last bottle of Guinness Extra Stout I use for cooking so I used a bottle of Bison Brewing Chocolate Stout that has been lurking in the back of my fridge for a year.
Add in the fresh herbs and bay leaves. Don’t bother chopping the herbs or taking them off the stems, they’ll fall apart as they cook and you can just fish the stems out later with the bay leaves.
Quickly blanch the pearl onions and peel off the skins. In a saute pan, heat a Tbsp of bacon or duck fat (or butter) and saute the vegetables until they’ve browned, but not cooked through.
Add the vegetables and potatoes to the pot. Cook for about 1-1/2 hours covered.
Meanwhile, while that cooked:
Feeding 2 starving man-children is no easy feat.
Back to the STEW! Take off the lid and continue to cook for another hour or two, until the meat is fork tender and the broth has thickened.
This actually tastes even better the next day…which is why I cooked it yesterday but we ate it tonight!
A perfect beginning to fall.