Irish Beef Stew
I love beef stew, not just because it is so delicious – it is also super easy to cook and feeds us for an entire day and sometimes two (leftovers can be reheated and for some reason, stew often tastes better the next day). This is a perfect laze-at-home weekend recipe. My method of making beef stew which I learnt from my friend Joyce involves using the oven to bake the casserole which is to me, a more fuss-free method as I do not need to watch the stove and reduction of the liquids is minimal. My kitchen is filled with a fantastic beef stew aroma as the stew is bubbling away. What makes this beef stew Irish is the use of Guinness Stout. This is now my favourite way of making beef stew because the beer not just adds flavour, it also tenderises the beef, as I noticed that I get more tender beef cubes within a shorter time of stewing as compared to cooking without beer. The tomatoes balance and complement the bitterness of the Stout, and also gives the stew an attractive, rustic reddish hue. For a step-by-step photo guide, check out my basic beef stew recipe. The steps are pretty much similar, with the addition of Stout and tomatoes in this version.
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- 700g beef cubes (I use chunk tender cut which is cheap and perfect for stewing)
- 200g berastagi potatoes (or any hard potatoes), peeled and cut to chunks
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut to chunks
- 1.5 cups beef broth (cheat method: 1.5 cups hot water mixed with 1 knorr beef cube)
- 1.5 tbsp Worcester (Worcestershire) sauce
- 1 can (320ml) Guinness Stout
- 1 glass red wine
- 1 mini can (170g) tomato paste
- 1 can stewed tomatoes (411g)
- 250 portebello/button mushrooms, cut roughly
- 1/2 tbsp dried herbs de provence (or few sprigs of fresh thyme)
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 tbsp slightly crushed black peppercorns
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large white/yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves and peeled
- olive oil
- plain flour
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- Dutch oven or oven-safe casserole, at least 3-litre capacity
- Kitchen tongs
- Oven gloves (preferably silicon material as it can withstand higher temperatures)
1. Season the beef cubes with a small amount of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Grease dutch oven or casserole with a thin layer of olive oil. When the oil is heated, add beef cubes one at a time (you will hear a gentle sizzle and see slight smoking) to form one layer on the pan. Do not overcrowd the meat. Let the cubes brown on one side, then flip over with kitchen tongs and brown on the other side. Take out browned meat and set aside. Add more oil to the casserole if needed and repeat until all the beef cubes are browned. Do not discard the brown bits or juices collected in the casserole.
2. Add a bit more olive oil to the casserole. Then add diced celery and onions and ‘sweat’ them on medium low heat (about 3 -5 minutes). You will see them turning brown from soaking the juices left in the casserole.
3. Pour a glass of red wine into the casserole and saute the celery and onions until the alcohol has evaporated, and you smell the nice aroma of the wine.
4. Stir in 1 tbsp plain flour and cook for one minute more to thicken the mixture.
5. Add beef stock and stout. When it comes to a simmer, add the previously browned beef cubes, tomato paste, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, dried herbs de provence, garlic cloves, mushrooms, potatoes and Worcester sauce.
6. Once the ingredients come to a simmer, off the stove. Cover the Dutch oven or casserole with lid and transfer to an oven. Bake the casserole at 180C for 1 hour.
7. After 1 hour, take the Dutch oven out (using silicon oven gloves). Add the can of stewed tomatoes and stir thoroughly. This is also a good time to check the consistency of the stew. If you need to thicken it further, add more plain flour. If it’s too dry, you can add more beef broth or hot water.
8. Cover with lid and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the beef is tender. Test taste the stew and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, if needed. Serve with bread or rice.
- Beef Stew (Oven-Baked Recipe) with Step-by-Step Photos
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- Irish Beef Stew by Simply Recipes
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