Several years ago, I spent three days in downtown Minneapolis for a banking class. While it was work related, it was also a mini-vacation for Mom! I had a big bed all to myself. I could watch whatever I wanted on TV. I got to sample different restaurants for dinner.
On my last day, I stopped back at a restaurant that my co-worker and I had stopped at for cocktails after our first day of classes. It was an Irish pub that had a great roof-top terrace and lawn bowling square. We sipped cocktails while watching people in their business attire juggle pints of Guinness and the required lawn ball. I really have no idea what they are actually called-we just had fun watching.
On this last day, I sat outside in front of the restaurant on a small patio having a late lunch before heading home. I chose the Guinness Beef Stew. I am not a fan of Guinness for drinking, as I prefer lighter beers to drink, but that stew was out of this world! Chunks of beef, bright orange carrot rounds, and small Irish potatoes swimming together in the most flavorful broth I had ever tasted.
The menu didn't give away much on what was in it, other than the main ingredients you could see. I saw a recipe several years ago that was for a different type of stew, but used the process for the beef and it really made it terrific.
Guinness Beef Stew
4 strips of bacon
1 TBSP oil
2 pounds beef stew meat (I sometimes use a nice sirloin cut up)
1/2 of a large onion, diced
1-2 TBSP flour
1 bottle of Guinness beer **
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Old World seasoning (Penzeys-it has bay leaf, rosemary, dill, thyme, savory, etc)
salt and pepper, to taste
10 small Irish or red potatoes, cooked
In a Dutch oven heat the oil. Fry the bacon to lightly crisp and remove from pot. In the bacon renderings and oil, fry the stew meat that has been blotted dry to sear the outside. Do this in at least two batches so as not to crowd the beef. Remove beef to a plate or bowl. Saute onions in remaining dripping for about 4 to 5 minutes, being careful to not let them burn or get too much color. Stir flour into the onion mixture and stir for 2 minutes to get a nice roux. Pour a small amount of beer into pan to deglaze and help the roux not to burn. Return the stew meat to the pan and use a scissors to snip the bacon into bite size pieces right into the pot. Stir the rest of the ingredients in, except the potatoes. Simmer over low heat for 1-1/2 hours. Stir the cooked potatoes into the stew and simmer for another hour.
Serve with the Beer Bread from last post.
**Notes: I had bought a large single bottle of beer from the liquor store since I'm not a fan of drinking the Guinness. I cannot remember the exact size, but around 24 to 26 ounces. I poured 12 ounces of it into a glass measure and let sit to come to room temperature for the bread. The balance I used for the stew.
I also have been trying to use up my canned goods, so I used two cans of small Irish potatoes for the fresh cooked ones. The only thing I will do different if I use canned spuds again is to fry them in a little oil and beer to put a little color on them.
The bacon: I had cooked up a pound the night before and saved the renderings in a glass cup. I slowly melted that with just a small amount of oil since the recipe I found for the different meat stew only used the renderings from the four slices of bacon, and I had about double that from the pound of bacon.