Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guinness Stew

GUINNESS: Sent from the heavens? Quite possibly.

Not only is today the last holiday of the winter, but this week is the last week of winter! By the calendar and also by the weather and the air. It's really turning into spring out there! The birds are chirping a different tune when I head out early. The breeze has a bit of warmth to it that it didn't have just a week ago. If you are paying attention, it really happens fast. So, this week I am posting all the remaining recipes I wanted to share before this long and snowy winter is officially over this Saturday.

On this fine St. Patty's day, here is an idea that doesn't take too long. I should have posted last night to give all ye Irishmen (and Irishwomen) a chance to shop or start putting this together, but, alas, I didn't. It takes about two hours so if you can get home and get the stuff in the pot, you can sit back and enjoy a Guinness while your stew stews.

The way I got this recipe was by combining a few different ones that I found and I think it will turn out great (if you are a kitchen improviser or have the luck o' the Irish). Just kidding--I just wanted to say that. It will turn out great for sure! Here is the beef version, but if you prefer veggies, replace the beef chunks with about a pound of assorted mushrooms roughly chopped. They carry the hearty Guinness flavor well.

Guinness Stew
2 lb lean stewing meat or 1-1 1/2 lb assorted mushrooms (roughly chopped)
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne
2 lg onions, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 lg parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 lb potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 bottle of Guinness

Trim the beef (or mushrooms) and brown in a large pot for about 7-9 minutes. Set aside.

In the large pot, now melt butter on low heat and whisk in flour to make a roux. Cook for 8 minutes or so until it takes on a bit of color.

Add the onions, garlic, carrot, parsnip, and potatoes and turn heat up until everything is hot and beginning to sizzle. Add meat and brown sugar. Toss together 1 minute, then slowly add the bottle of Guinness. Add enough water to just cover everything and bring to a boil for a minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and partially cover.
Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Cook for 2 hours with beef or 1 hour with mushrooms.

Serve with an ice cold Guinness!

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