Crockpot Guinness beef stew is a perfect make-ahead meal for celebrating St.
Patrick's Day with friends. Guinness can be bitter in a stew. This can be overcome
by adding a little bit of chocolate to the stew, creating a delicious, mellow
flavor. My recipe for beef stew cooks slowly in a crockpot for many hours, allowing
its distinctive flavors meld together.
Chocolate in a stew! I hear my mother gasping at the very thought,
but trust me, it is the secret ingredient that will make your Guinness stew
a real winner.
Ingredients for Irish Guinness Beef Stew:
2 pounds stewing beef (well trimmed and cut into one inch cubes)
1/2 cup flour (for coating the beef)
Salt and pepper (to season dredging flour)
2 4 tablespoons canola oil (for pre-cooking the beef)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups frozen pearl onions (about 12 oz package)
2 to 3 parsnips (julienned)
16 oz. baby carrots (1 packet)
2 pounds red potatoes (quartered)
1 and 1/4 cups Guinness stout (1 bottle (11 oz))
3 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon thyme
3 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 to 3 tablespoons corn starch (for thickening stew at end of cooking)
1/4 cup beef broth (to mix with corn starch to thicken stew)
Peel and julienne the parsnips into 2 inch long pieces, matching the
length of the baby carrots. Add the pearl onions, baby carrots, parsnips, and
potato quarters into the bottom of the crock pot.
Season the flour in a flat bowl and dredge the beef chunks.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the floured beef cubes and brown
them on all sides. Transfer to the crockpot when browned. Complete in two steps
Add the garlic to the skillet and brown for one minute.
Mix 1 cup of the beef broth with the red wine vinegar and dijon mustard
in a small pitcher. Pour into the pan, scraping the bottom to loosen any beef
Add the stock from the skillet, the additional beef stock, water and
Guinness to the crock pot.
Add the thyme, bay leaves, cloves, brown sugar and chocolate chips to
the crock pot. Mix ingredients together.
Place the lid on the crock pot and cook the stew on low for 10 to 12
hours. Try not to lift the lid of the crock pot too often during cooking, since
this can allow the heat escape and slow down cooking. The stew is done when
the vegetables are tender.
Put the corn flour in a small pitcher or bowl and blend with 1/4 cup
of cold beef broth, making sure the mixture is smooth (water can be used instead
to blend the cornstarch).
Turn the crock pot to high and add the thickening. Season the stew according
to taste at this point. Cook for an additional 20 minutes to allow the stew
to thicken, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaves and discard. Serve in a large soup bowl.