I can hear the rain falling outside. The raindrops tap the dry leaves in the trees and on the ground making a crackling that sounds like a wood fire burning. Salem and Merlin (our cats) have made themselves some cozy nests, sleeping on the thick feather duvet on the bed. I want to snuggle up next to them and drift away to the relaxing sound of the storm.
It’s the middle of November which means full Christmas shopping mode. My day off list included another batch of stocking stuffers, a good house clean, my weekly sauna appointment, a manicure and getting ready for our engagement party, held at my Mother in laws home. I meal plan on Sunday mornings over breakfast and I’d bought all the ingredients for this hearty stew on my last grocery run. I prepped everything the night before and had it in the slow cooker by 10pm. I set my alarm for 8am the next morning and crept over to the dark kitchen to taste the stew and turn the cooker off. The scent of stew filled the kitchen making it inviting despite the cold contrast of our warm bed. I now didn’t have to worry about cooking and could shop to my hearts content.
This Irish stew is Autumn in a bowl; root veggies, big chunks of melt-in-your-mouth beef and the tartness of beer. Use a bottle of good stout beer. Guiness was my first choice but they didn’t have it at the shop near my home. Serve with a piece of toasty garlic bread. This stew is rich. Make it and you won’t be hungry for days. It also keeps really well in the fridge for a great leftover for work or a second helping the next day.
You Will Need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs of stewing beef (fat trimmed off)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 – 4 Tablespoons flour
- 4 large yukon golden potatoes, peeled, cut into large pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large slices
- 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tblsp garlic powder
- 1 large bay (laurel) leaf
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 4 cups beef broth
- 11.2 fluid ounce bottle of Guinness or Stout Beer
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
- In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Turn slow cooker on.
- In a large bowl, toss beef together with salt, pepper, 2 Tblsp of flour to coat. Add beef to the pan and cook until all sides of the chunks are browned (about 8 minutes).
- While beef is browning, add chopped potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic and tomato paste to the slow cooker. Stir to coat.
- Add browned beef, beef broth, bay leaf, garlic powder and beer to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook 8-10 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
- Once stew is cooked, whisk in extra flour (until stew is as thick as you like)
- I adjust flavours now, adding salt, pepper and extra garlic powder to taste.
- Serve with a chunk of garlic toast and a pint of beer.
As always, thanks for joining me in the kitchen at the Bell Witch Manor. I’ve got a great Autumn recipe planned for tomorrow so check back for it.