I don’t really care what the calendar says, it is officially fall in Boston. I’m rocking the very fashionable sweatshirt and flip-flops look and itching to get back into my own kitchen and play with my slow cooker. So I figured it was time to stop holding out on my recipe for my all-time favorite stew creation. Please feel free to add or substitute your favorite fall vegetables and, as always, please keep me posted on what works (or doesn’t) for you!
Guinness and Beef Stew
Serves: 10-ish (very scientific, I know)
2 lbs stew meat, trimmed of most fat
1 lb carrots, chopped 1 lb parsnips, chopped
1 medium turnip, chopped
1 – 2 lbs baby potatoes, quartered
1 1/2 lbs cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
4 cups low-sodium beef broth
2 bottles of Guinness Draught
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 bay leaves
Thyme, basil, black pepper to taste
Place the trimmed meat pieces in a Ziploc bag with the flour and shake to coat. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté meat until brown on edges. Add 1/2 a bottle of Guinness and let the meat simmer for about 5 more minutes.
Add all vegetables and spices to the slow cooker and mix well.
Carefully mix in the meat and juices from the skillet. Add the beef broth and remaining Guinness, pouring carefully to minimize splashing.
Place 2-3 bay leaves on top and let the stew cook for 6-8 hours on high. I tend to stir the stew once every 2 hours or so, just to make sure the meat and vegetables are mixed well, but it’s important not to take the lid off too often in order to keep the steam and moisture inside. I know it’s hard not to peek but try!
I actually prefer lamb in my stew but sometimes availability issues and “budgetary constraints” win out. Either way, I’ve never complained about any batch that I’ve made. And I tend to complain about my cooking louder than anyone else.
As for the vegetable measurements, please adjust to your own preferences. I happened on some nice turnips last fall at the farmer’s market and gave it a shot. I’m now in love with them in this dish. Same thing with the parsnips. As for the potatoes, I used a mix of blue, red and Yukon gold and just added as many as I could with the lid still fitting.
I also made a point of not adding any salt until I was ready to scoop out a bowl to eat, at which point I was pleasantly surprised I really didn’t need much more than just a sprinkle.
Lastly, this is by far one of my favorite healthy, freezer-friendly recipes. Many coworkers have been made jealous when I would go into the kitchen to heat this up in the middle of January.