Beef & Guinness Stew brings to mind images of nestling up in cozy pubs scattered throughout Ireland, turning to this rich and robust meal to provide the warming nourishment needed to replenish after a cold and hard workday (or perhaps simply to sustain us for the walk home from the pub!). I love to recreate this feeling in my own home, introducing local and organic ingredients that marinate together of the course of the day to provide true flavour and fulfilling and hearty yet healthy meal.
It was right back around 500BC that the cauldron become the dominant cooking method, being used to create one pot meals over an open flame. While we fortunately do not have to rely on this practice anymore, we can bring some of the romance of this cooking style back into our intended meals. The slow cooking method of this stew allows the ingredients to slowly meld together over the afternoon, filling your house with joyful smells in the process! The best part - this stew will continue to develop its flavours long after you stop cooking, with many people agreeing that the most enjoyable part of the stew will actually present itself in the one-to-two days that follow.
These images are Fig Tree Lane original photography.
2 Brown Onions - Sliced
4 Cloves Garlic - Finely diced
4 Large Potatoes - Chopped into small cubes
2 Large Carrots - Chopped into small semi-circles
2 Stalks Celery - Sliced
1 Large Parsnip - Chopped into small cubes
200g Bacon - Diced
1kg Stewing Steak - Diced into 2cm cubes
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Tsp Dried Rosemary
2 Bay Leaves
Salt & Pepper
All Purpose Flour
1 Pint Guinness
1 Cup Good Beef Stock
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Tomato Paste
1 Cup Water
Time: Min 2hrs / (Max 8hrs
Serves: 6 Approx
Taking the diced beef, sprinkle with around 3-5tbsps flour and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine and coat pieces evenly.
Taking the large pot you will be creating your initial stew in, cook bacon over medium heat until done and then remove with a slotted spoon (leaving all bacon drippings in the pot). In this same pot, continue then to lightly brown the beef - working in stages so as to not overcrowd the pan. Continue this process until all meat is browned, then remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the onions to your pot (with some additional oil if needed) and fry for around 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Then add the garlic and fry together for one additional minute. At this point, add all remaining chopped vegetables and cook together for around five minutes.
After vegetables have very slightly started to soften, add the entirety of the Guinness and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Boil for at least two minutes, using this time to deglaze the bottom of the pot. You will want to try and scrape off as much as you can from the pot during this process, as this is the key to where all of your flavour lies!
After you have successfully deglazed the pot as much as possible, return the beef and bacon to the pot, along with all other remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine. You may now decide how long you would like to cook your stew! If transferring to a slow cooker, cook for around 3-4 hours on high setting or 6-8 hours on low setting. If sticking with the stovetop method, bring the stew to a boil before then reducing the heat to low and covering the pot to simmer for around two hours.
Adjust salt and pepper and additional seasonings to your taste as the flavours develop towards the end of the cooking period. We recommend serving with a warm, buttery bread and enjoy! This stew will continue to develop over time and is perfectly fine to sit in your fridge for around 4-5 days, or freeze.
Let us know what you think!
Love, Fig Tree Lane