Stout Beef Stew

Guinness, the wildly popular dark Irish stout, gives this stew a unique, rich flavor. It's a great choice for a St. Paddy's meal, but it's also a great recipe and technique to keep in rotation year round. The Guinness can be substituted with another beer, but the flavor will be different. You could also omit beer altogether. If you do this, increase the beef stock to four cups and add one Tablespoon flour when you add the Savory Steak and Chop Blend.

Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

Makes: 4 to 6 servings
2 Tbl Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed, plus 1 Tbl minced garlic
2 lbs boneless beef chuck or round, trimmed and cut into 1- inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large or 3 medium onions, cut into eighths
2 cups Guinness (Irish black stout)
2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
2 tsp Savory Steak & Chop Blend
4 medium to large waxy (red) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 cup frozen peas
Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish

Heat the Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Add the meat to the hot oil a few pieces at a time, turning to brown well on all sides. As a batch browns, remove it to a plate and add the next batch. Add Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed to the pot to keep the meat from burning and sticking.

Spoon off all but one Tablespoon of the fat. Turn the heat to medium and add the onions. Cook until softened and almost clear—about 10 mins. Add the Guinness and beef stock, bay leaf, Savory Steak and Chop Blend and browned meat with any collected juices in the plate.

Bring to a boil and quickly turn down the heat to low and cover. Cook, undisturbed, for 30 minutes.
Uncover the pot; add a little more stock or water if the consistency is too thick. Add the potatoes and carrots, turn the heat up for a minute or so to bring the liquid back to a boil, then lower the heat and cover again. Cook for 30 to 60 minutes, until the meat and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.

Add the minced garlic and the peas. Cook for about five minutes. If the stew is too thin, remove the lid during this cooking time. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

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