Monday, December 17, 2012

Guinness Beef Stew

First of all, my heart and thoughts go out to those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
When it happened, I was teaching a group of kindergardener. 
Throughout the semester, I have spent a lot of time teaching children in school. 
It breaks my heart. 
While I was sick lying on the couch on Friday and watching the news, I cried and cried.

The other day I made Guinness beef stew. Comfort, hearty, and hot stew with a slice of homemade bread, cues the sickness. A great soup always starts with the holy trinity also known as mirepoix as the base flavor along with the browned meat bits on the bottom of soup pot.

The secrets to beautiful browned meat? Room temperature meat and hot pan. Otherwise you will end up with puddle of meat liquid and zero browning, I learned the lesson the hard way. Browning also gives this flavor essence, the brown bits, that will later build a nice meaty flavor for the stew.

Stews are perfect for a rainy and winter day like today. I started off the weekend with the flu, I drove two hours with a fever. It was not fun. I did not have the appetite for anything. Jake heated up a small bowl of this stew and made me eat it, surprisingly I finished it and asked for more. Let's call it, Guinness Beef Stew for the soul sick. Move over chicken noodle soup.

Ta Da!
(My apology! I will post a more "formal" picture of the finish product update tomorrow)

*Note: I added some leftover sauteed swiss chard into the stew pictured above. That's why there's rhubarb-looking vegetable in my bowl.

Guinness Beef Stew

1.5 pound chuck or round beef, 1/2-inch cubes and room temperature
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1 medium potato, diced
1 28-oz canned diced tomato, drained
1 bottle Guinness
6 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil Dutch Oven over medium high, brown meat on all sides. Don't crowd the pot, work in batches if needed. Set beef aside when done.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same Dutch Oven, cook onion, carrots, and potato until translucent. About 10 minutes. Add Guinness, broth, and tomato. Return beef to pot. Add bay leaf.
3. Simmer stew for 1 hour or until beef is very tender. Season as needed
4. Slurp the stew on a cold winter day.

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