It is said that on St. Patrick's Day everyone is Irish. I'm not sure who said that, but probably someone who liked a good party and a nice hearty meal. And many times a rich, hearty beef stew is in order. This past weekend we got almost 10 inches of rain with one storm that just wouldn't let up. The weather lately has seemed almost biblical in proportions and so maybe we need a saint to bring us some cheer. After a little jig in the Wellies to shake off the wetness, I made a Guinness Irish Stew yesterday. There are many recipes out there and I ended up using one from Simply Recipes, that adds Guinness and red wine. Now that's a party. I also added some sautéed mushrooms, because I like them in stew. I picked up some Dubliner Irish cheese and bread and had a nice well rounded meal. Don't worry about any green vegetables, you'll probably have plenty of green to fill the day."Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter. Lullabies, dreams and love ever after. A thousand welcomes when anyone comes...That's the Irish for You!" Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Guinness Irish Stew
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces (not extra-lean)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock, or canned beef broth
1 cup of Guinness beer
1 cup of fine red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2 inch pieces peeled carrots
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.
3. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)
Serves 4 to 6.
Diane's notes: I omitted the sugar and added 8 ounces quartered sautéed mushrooms, when I added the other vegetables.