Guinness beef stew

The name of this recipe might lead you to believe there is Guinness in it. And boy is there ever. Normally when a recipe calls for liquor or beer, it's just a part of the ingredient list. But there is more beer in this stew than there is beef stock!

There is a whole lot of chopping in this recipe. I doubled the batch because (1) I love leftover and (2) we were having family over for the big day. That meant I was chopping: 2 lbs beef, 8 carrots, 8 celery, 2 onions, nearly 2 lb mushrooms, and 6 garlic. But it was totally worth it. After a couple hours simmering on the stove, this was a wonderfully tender and flavorful stew.

One of the worst parts about coming to my house for dinner is that as soon as you finish eating, I make you critique the meal. It's a real joy. But how am I supposed to improve and make amazing things if I don't know how you feel about the mushrooms?

So here was some of the feedback. But since I wouldn't expect anyone else to make a double batch of beef stew, my notes will be inline with the single batch:
  • More onion // Agreed. I would probably go up to 3 onions in the next batch.
  • Less mushroom // Agreed. The original recipe called for a full pound of mushrooms. I would probably cut this back to 1/2 pound if you just slice the mushrooms. If you chop them more finely, then I would go up to 3/4 pound. 
  • Pepper // My dad loves pepper. I still don't have any in my house. There is no good reason for this - but yeah, I'll put it on the grocery list.
  • More beef // I think I ended up using 20% more than originally called for in the recipe. This was mostly fine until we got to leftovers. There wasn't any beef left. I think the next time I would probably go for 1.5 lbs of beef and perhaps reduce the size of the chunks as well to spread it further.
Here's how it goes.
  1. Brown the beef: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef in batches to brown. Remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  2. Sauté onion, garlic and celery: Put the Dutch oven back over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and sauté until tender and lightly colored, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the beer: Stir the tomato paste into the onion mix in the Dutch oven. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Pour in the Guinness - careful, it will foam. Add the minced sun-dried tomatoes and simmer over medium-high heat until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and cook: Add the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and beef stock to the Dutch oven. Add the meat back in and stir well. Add the bay leaf. Firmly cover the Dutch oven with its lid and let simmer until the meat is tender. I didn't keep track of time super well but it was between 2 and 3 hours. 
  5. Rest? I read in the original recipe that giving the stew some time to rest will make the beef more tender. So I cooked for Give the stew some time to rest before serving. I prefer to let it cool almost completely, then reheating it to serve. But even a 10 minute rest will make the beef a lot more tender vs eating straight out of the oven.
To make this in an electric slow cooker, follow the recipe until step 4. Transfer the beer reduction, meat, vegetables and stock to a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Shopping List
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound beef chuck cubed
2 medium onions cut into slim wedges
3 cloves garlic smashed
4 large celery stalks sliced diagonally
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 12-oz bottles Guinness beer
4 large sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil drained and very finely minced
1/2 pound small-medium floury potatoes peeled and roughly cubed
1/2 pound small-medium waxy potatoes roughly cubed
4 medium carrots cubed and sliced diagonally
3/4 pound brown button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf optional
Salt and pepper to taste

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