Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Beef & Irish Draught Stew

Alas, no picture for this as we -- and 15 other friends -- gobbled this up too quickly. Also, it's hard to photograph stew in an attractive fashion; I mean, have you tried recently? It comes out looking, literally, like a hot mess.

Looks aside, I can assure you it's a delicious stew that tastes even better the next day.

So if you can get a jump on this tonight, you'll have the perfect St. Patrick's Day dinner tomorrow. But, still: if you make and eat this tomorrow, you'll be very happy.

Serve over heaps of hot mashed potatoes and drink with a good Irish beer.

Beef & Irish Draught Stew (source)
2 pounds lean beef stew meat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cups Irish draught beer (I used Guinness because it's St. Patrick's Day - duh.)
2 cups chopped carrot
1 sprig fresh thyme

Toss the beef cubes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. In a ziplock bag, toss together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add the beef, seal the bag and shake until the beef is dredged in the flour mixture.

Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Add the onions and garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the pan and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan and scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the carrots and thyme. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.