Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cook'n with Paddy - Delicious Irish Stew

While we're talking about comfort foods, there's nothing more comforting than a nice hearty stew on a cold winters night. I've found that adding ale or Guinness not only makes the meat more tender, but it also gives the gravy a richer taste.

It's a classic British / Irish food that has been passed down for generations, and will continue to be a staple for years to come. It is easy to make, but delicious and very fulfilling.

Here's the recipe:
2 pounds lean beef, cubed. (Generally you would use stewing beef, as the Guinness helps tenderize it).
3 Tablespoons oil (I tend to use plain vegetable oil).
2 Tablespoons flour (to thicken).
Salt and pepper.
2 large chopped onions.
1 large clove garlic crushed.
2 Tablespoons tomato puree combined with 4 tablespoons water (you can replace this with any Tomato Sauce.
1-1/4 cups Guinness.
2 cups chopped carrots. (Note, you can add mushrooms, or any other vegtable you like).
2 cups of chopped potatoes.
add thyme and oregano).

Cooking instructions
Ensure the beef is cubed in 1-1/2 to 2 inch cubes, and has most of the fat cut off.
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together.
In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of oil and stir in the beef all surfaces are filmed with oil.
Place the beef in with the flour and mix so all surfaces are now covered with flour.
Heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat and brown the meat.
Add onions, garlic and tomato and simmer for four to five minutes.
Remove the meat from the frying pan and place in a casserole dish.
Add a little Guinness to the pan and boil so that the juices from the frying pan are not wasted.
Pour the contents of the frying pan, the remaining Guinness, the carrots and the potatoes over the meat.
Cook in an oven at 325 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. (Note this can be simmered on a stove for two to three hours)

Serving Suggestions:
There are many ways you can eat this wonderful stew:
In a bowl with a dollup of Sour Cream.
Mixed with some Egg Noodles.
With Mashed Potatoes.

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