When Will and I went to Ireland a year and a half ago, one thing that really surprised me was the delicious food. I always thought of "gourmet Irish cuisine" as kind of an oxymoron, but wow. I can't even begin to describe the delectable seafood, stews, burgers, and of course the Irish breakfasts at the B&Bs we stayed at. We traveled everywhere, from Dublin to Cork to Ennis to Galway, and one thing we looked forward to every day were the pub lunches. I had an amazing stew at a pub in Waterford, and I think I finally came close to re-creating. I found this recipe years ago (sorry readers, I honestly can't remember where) and Will immediately fell in love with it. Since we can't spend St. Paddy's day together this year, I thought I would make an early Irish meal for dinner one night.
Beef Guinness Stew
2 lbs stewing beef
3 T olive oil
2 T all-purpose flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of cayenne
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 T tomato puree, dissolved in 4 T water
3 bottles of Guinness
2 cups largely diced carrots
sprig of fresh thyme
1. Trim any fat or gristle from the meat. Toss beef with 1 T of olive oil. In a small bowl, season the flour with salt, pepper and cayenne. Dredge meat through the seasoned flour.
2. Heat remaining 2 T of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Reduce the heat, add onions, crushed garlic and tomato puree. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes.
3. Transfer contents of the skillet to a large saucepan and pour half of the Guinness into the skillet. Bring to a boil to dissolve meat juices in the pan. Pour over the meat along with the remaining Guinness. Add the carrots and thyme to the saucepan, adjust seasonings. Cover and simmer on stove for 2-3 hours.