Sunday, January 28, 2007

Guinness Beef Stew

It just feels like a stew kind of a day. A snow flurry filled, bitingly cold Sunday when I'm having trouble getting out of my pajamas and the thought of putting something other than slippers on my feet inspired me to try a new stew recipe. This one comes from my "gourmet" slow cooker recipe book by Lynn Alley, and is for a Guinness (yes, the stout) beef stew. It took a little more prep time than the average "throw it all it and let it sit for 6 hours" typical slow cooker recipe, but I think it'll be worth it. Of course, I'll have to wait 8 hours to report back on how it actually tastes!

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-2" cubes
2 Tb vegetable oil
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 yellow onions, cut into chunks
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cups Guinness stout (equal to bottle of the standard sized bottle available at most supermarkets)
1 tsp salt

1. Place flour in a Ziploc bag. Add the beef to the bag (don't do it all at one), shake it around to coat, and put on a plate
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meat (you'll likely need to do it in 2 batches) turning occasionally until nicely browned on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
3. Place browned meat on plate lined with paper towels to drain off excess oil.
4. Pour about 1/2 cup of the second bottle of Guinness into the skillet that's still on the heat to deglaze the pan (why risk losing those yummy, crispy beef pieces?)
5. Place all vegetables in slow cooker. Top with beef and whole sprigs of thyme. Top with beer and that delicious deglazed sauce you just made.
6. Cook for 8 hours on low heat, until the meat is very tender. Season with salt to taste and chopped fresh parsley if you like.

Servies 4 to 6.

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