What makes this an Irish beef stew 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 they get more tender within a shorter time of stewing (I used a cheap but decent cut of “chunk tender” cut for the stew), 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. I love beef stew, not just because it is so delicious – but it is also super easy to cook and feed hungry people for an entire day with often with leftovers for the next day. This is a perfect laze-at-home weekend recipe. My kitchen is filled with a fantastic beef stew aroma as this stew was bubbling away in the oven.
My method of baking beef stew was taught by my friend Joyce. Instead of simmering over the stove top, the oven is used to bake the stew which is to me, the only method I used to cook such stews as I need not worry about watching the stove.
Anytime you need to thicken the stew, add flour. If the stew is too dry, you can add more beef broth or hot water. 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.
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:1 hr 30 mins
700g beef cubes (I use chunk tender cut which is inexpensive and perfect for stewing)
4 stalks celery diced
1 large onion diced
1 glass red wine
1 tbsp plain flour
1.5 cups beef stock (you can use beef stock cube)
1 can (320ml) Guinness Stout
1 mini can (170g) tomato paste
4 carrots peeled and cut to chunks
3 dried bay leaves
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns slightly crushed
1/2 tbsp dried herbs de provence (such as Italian seasoning or herbs de provence)
1 garlic bulb separated into cloves and peeled
250 portebello/button mushrooms cut roughly
200g berastagi potatoes (or any hard potatoes) peeled and cut to chunks
1.5 tbsp Worcester (Worcestershire) sauce
1 can stewed tomatoes (411g)
salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Dutch oven or oven-safe casserole, at least 3-litre capacity
Silicon oven gloves (for taking the hot casserole in and out of the oven)
Season the beef cubes with some salt and black pepper. Grease Dutch oven with olive oil. When the oil is heated, brown beef cubes in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the meat in the casserole. When the beef browns on one side, turn over with kitchen tongs to brown on the other side. Repeat until all the beef cubes are browned. Do not discard the brown bits or juices collected in the casserole.
Add 1 tbsp 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.
Pour a glass of red wine into the casserole and cook the celery and onions until the alcohol has evaporated, and you smell the nice aroma of the wine.
Stir in flour and cook for one minute more to thicken the mixture.
Add beef stock and stout. When the stew comes to a simmer, add the previously browned beef , tomato paste, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, herbs, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes and Worcester sauce.
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 180°C (356°F) for 1 hour.
Add the can of stewed tomatoes and stir thoroughly.
Cover with lid and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the beef is tender. Season with salt and black pepper, if needed. Serve with bread or rice.