Beef Stew with Guinness

Beef Stew with Guinness

This beef stew with Guinness recipe focuses on developing flavor by using different cooking techniques. The beef is first broiled, the onions are fried in olive oil and butter, and the potatoes are pre-cooked in salty water.

Usually I make a beef stew a couple of times a year once the weather drops below 50 degrees.  For whatever reason, that didn’t happen and here I am, a week before April and a week after St. Patricks day making stew with Irish beer.  I overheard a friend of mine commenting how hard it is to take a really good, food porn quality, photo of beef stew.  Pft! Challenge accepted!

So, what would make a beef stew not photogenic? A mushy brown gravy of overcooked carrots and potatoes and monotone grey-brown beef. Yeah, that wouldn’t be very appetizing. Brown beef, orange carrots, and white potatoes aren’t exactly a rainbow of ingredients but there are ways to bring out the color.  First, let’s get the edges of the beef nice and dark by coating them in olive oil and broiling them.  Second, Yukon gold potatoes, as evident by the name, add a little color. Third, I find organic carrots stand up to longer cooking times than regular carrots – they also taste like actual carrots.  Finally, cooking everything separately then adding them together later in the cooking process means they won’t all break down and muddy up the gravy.

That covers the looks.  Let’s talk about flavor.  Stews and braises are all about slow cooking to transform your ingredients in to something entirely different.  We want to avoid throwing everything in a pot at the same time to keep the gravy photogenic, err, can we just say appetizing? Cooking things in different pots means we can experiment with cooking techniques and bolder flavor development. There are relatively few ingredients in this stew so building complexity means knowing how to bring out the flavors we want in the ingredients.  Fried onions are one of my favorite flavors. If you overcook them, they get a super deep dark sweet flavor, but we don’t want them to caramelize. Precooking the Yukon potatoes separately in sea-salt water elevates the already tasty potato.  By controlling the cooking time with a precook, we can prevent them from getting mushy. A tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and Guinness (used here more as a “requirement” than a preference) brings out the deep umami flavors we want to highlight in a beef stew.

Beef Stew with Guinness
Mix the beef with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil on a sheet pan to develop color and flavor.
Beef Stew with Guinness
Beef Stew with Guinness

Even though we’re cooking most of these ingredients separately, we still want hearty bite size pieces.  Keep things consistent. The onions, on the other hand, we want to disintegrate in the stew to become a flavor element. Slicing them thinly means they’ll just melt away in to the gravy.

Beef Stew with Guinness
Beef Stew with Guinness
Once the onions have fried up, add the carrots and the beef with all its juices.
Beef Stew with Guinness
Let the beef, carrots, and onions cook for about five minutes. Then add the Guinness, a cup of water and a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce. Cover the dutch oven and simmer on low for 1 hour.
Beef Stew with Guinness
After simmering for an hour, add another cup of water, some parsley, and the potatoes that have been sitting aside. Cover and simmer on low for an hour.

Notice that we haven’t added any extra salt or pepper.  There’s salt and pepper on the steak from the broil and there’s salt from the potatoes. Otherwise, the Worcestershire also add a bit of flavoring but we’re relying on building flavor by how we cook the food.

Beef Stew with Guinness
Beef Stew with Guinness

I really hope you give this a shot and let me know how it works for you.  There’s just a little something better about this stew thanks to layering cooking techniques on top of each other.  The end results looks damn pretty too! Take that, Larry!

Beef Stew with Guinness

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Anthony Course: MainCuisine: IrishDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

2

hours 
Total time

2

hours 

20

minutes

This Beef Stew with Guinness recipe focuses on developing flavor by using different cooking techniques. The beef is first broiled, the onions are fried in olive oil and butter, and the potatoes are precooked in salty water.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs grass-fed Stew Meat

  • 5 medium organic Carrots, one inch pieces

  • 6 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cubed in bite size pieces

  • 1 large Yellow Onion sliced

  • 1 can Guinness Draft

  • 2 cups Water

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Butter

  • Olive Oil

  • Parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  • Broil the Beef:
  • In a medium bowl, coat beef with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • On a lined sheet pan, broil beef until well browned on both sides.
  • Start the Stew:
  • In a dutch oven over medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter.
  • Add sliced onions and heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes until well browned, not caramelized.
  • Add the carrots, the beef and all juices from sheet pan to the onions. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add Gunniess, 1 cup water, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
  • Potatoes:
  • In a separate pot, cover cubed potatoes with water and kosher salt and bring to hard boil.
  • After potatoes come to a boil, turn off heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • When potatoes are tender, drain water and set aside.
  • Bring it together:
  • Add 1 cup water, parsley, and the potatoes to the stew.
  • Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour.

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