Making this stew was a bit of a risk. It had been a very hectic week, and we were expecting a group of house guests (friends of a friend) to arrive Friday evening. The problem was that on Friday, we going to be at the Royal Ascot ALL DAY. So…what to make for a family we hadn’t met yet on a day where we wouldn’t be home until AFTER they arrived at our house? Why, a crock pot stew of course!
So, I whipped together this adaptation of a beef stew, dropped the ingredients into a crock pot, turned it on, and left for the races – hoping that it would turn out okay and thus breaking the cardinal rule of hosting dinner parties (never serve guests a dish that you have never made before).
Thankfully, it turned out great! So, I am sharing the recipe with you.
This is a meaty, hearty stew that can be prepared in a crock pot or on the stove/oven. It takes about half an hour to prepare the ingredients and then 10-12 hours in the crock pot on high. It comes out FANTASTIC. If you are cooking this over the stove, use a casserole and cook in the oven at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 4 hours, perhaps longer.
Guinness Beef Stew
This makes enough stew for about 6-8 people (you will need a large crock pot). This recipe is easy to halve, but leftovers are a delicious blessing!
- 3-4 pounds of stewing beef steak, cut into chunks
- 1 can (440 ml) of Guinness beer
- 2 cups of flour for dredging
- 1 large onion
- 6 shallots
- 3 large potatoes
- 4-5 large parsnips
- 4 large, thick carrots
- 1 tablespoon dried or ground thyme
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (yes, you need it)
- 4 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups water
Peel and slice the parsnips, potatoes and carrots into large, equally sized chunks. Chop the onion.
Peel and halve the shallots.
Put the 2 cups of flour in a large metal bowl. Tip the chunks of stewing beef into the bowl and turn to coat. Heat about 4 tablespoons of the vegetable oil on medium high heat. When it is nearly smoking, fry the chunks of beef. Fry until dark brown on all sides. You may have to do this in batches as you do not want to crowd the beef. Add more oil if necessary. Reserve the 1/2 cup of the flour you used for dredging.
Transfer the beef to the crock pot or oven-proof casserole. When you are finished frying the beef, pour a couple of tablespoons of Guinness beer into the pan and stir up all the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour this over the beef chunks.
Put all the vegetables over the beef in the crock pot. Add the bay leaves, thyme, pepper and salt. Do not over salt. Add the sugar and cocoa. This is very important as it will balance out the bitter taste of the Guinness and make for a rich, hearty stew sauce.
Pour in the Guinness beer and the 1/2 cup of flour. Turn with a wooden spoon until everything is evenly coated. Add 2 cups of water.
If you are using a crock pot, cover and cook on high for 10-12 hours. No need to stir until ready to serve!
If you are using an oven, put the covered casserole in for 2.5 hours at 275 F. Check and stir. If the meat is not to your desired tenderness, put it in the oven again for another hour. Repeat until your desired consistency is met. (I prefer the crock pot!!)
Enjoy with rice or bread.