Cook’s Country is currently airing an episode featuring Guinness Beef Stew. Unlike most stews, this recipe skips the searing of the meat on the stove-top, because it takes too long and causes a lot of splattered grease everywhere. Instead, this stew is cooked uncovered in the oven; the open pot allows the meat on top to brown, and the evaporating liquid helps concentrate the flavors. Chris Kimball says that the stew will be ready after just 2-1/2 hours in the oven. I ate mine after 3 hours (due to scheduling conflict), but 3-1/2 hours would have been much better. As eaten, it was only 3-1/2 stars. The flavors were nicely balanced, but were a little too subdued. More browning in the oven would have added more flavor. If I had a little more time (or started a little earlier), I’m sure it would have been 4-to-4-1/2 stars.
- The recipe calls for Guinness Draught, but I could only find the ubiquitous Guinness Extra Stout. While Chris Kimball says that Extra Stout is too bitter, he said it could be used in a pinch. So in lieu of “We prefer the flavor of Guinness Draught in this stew (with Guinness Extra Stout a close second), but you can substitute another brand of stout or a dark ale, such as Rogue Chocolate Stout or Newcastle Brown Ale.”
- Cooking times were understated. I adjusted the cooking times upward from 2-1/2 hours to 3 hours below, but consider cooking for 3-1/2 hours.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess? Medium.
Start time 2:00 PM. Finish time 6:00 PM.
Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:
4-lb boneless beef chuck roast
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/4 cups Guinness Draught
1-1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1-1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Set a rack to lower-middle of your oven and pre-heat to 325-degrees. Pull roast apart at seams, trim away any excess or hard fat, and cut into 1-1/2″ pieces. Sprinkle beef cubes with salt and pepper.
- finely chop onions. Add 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in Dutch oven placed over medium-high burner. Saute onions for 10 minutes until well-browned.
- Add tomato paste and use a garlic press to press the garlic directly into pan. Cook for 2 minutes until the mixture turns rust-colored. Add 1/4 cup flour and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Use a whisk to incorporate chicken broth, 3/4-cup (1/2 bottle or 6 ounces) Guinness, brown sugar, and minced thyme, then use the liquid to de-glaze the fond. Bring the mixture up to a simmer, then simmer for 3 minutes. Add beef cubes and bring back up to a simmer.
- Leaving simmering Dutch oven uncovered, put into the pre-heated oven and cook for 2 hours at 325-degrees, stirring after 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile wash and peel carrots, and cut into 1″ segments. Wash the potatoes, but leave the potatoes unpeeled; cut them into 1″ pieces.
- After the 2 hours has elapsed, mix in potatoes and carrots. Continue to cook for 1 more hour, until the beef and vegetables become tender; stirring after 30 minutes.
- Add remaining 1/2-cup Guinness and minced parsley. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste, and serve.