Guinness Beef Stew

Guinness Beef Stew

Serves: to serve 6

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Ready In: 2 hrs

2½ lb - Stewing Steak or Braising Steak

2 tablespoons - olive oil

2 cloves - garlic

2 medium - onions

4 tablespoons - plain flour (all purpose flour)

1 pint - beef stock

1 pint - Guinness Extra Stout

3 large - carrots

2 - bay leaves

¼ teaspoon - freshly ground pepper

8 oz - stoned prunes (pitted)

  - salt and pepper

2 tablespoons - chopped parsley

  1. Chop the meat into 1" (2.5cm) cubes. Peel and chop the onions and peel and crush (mince) the garlic. Peel the carrots and cut into ½" (1cm) lengths cut on the diagonal. In a casserole (Dutch oven), on medium high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sauté the onions for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
  2. Remove them from the pot and set aside. Turn up the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and very quickly sear the meat on all sides in several small batches. (Do NOT be tempted to put all the meat into the casserole at the same time... it just doesn't work! To brown the meat properly, you need to do several small batches). Return all the seared meat to the pan, reduce the heat and gradually stir in the flour until all the meat is well coated.
  3. Add the beef stock and the Guinness and stir until the mixture comes to a simmer (remember to use Guinness Extra Stout only!). Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bay leaves and ground pepper to the pot. The beer/stock should cover all the ingredients. If it does not, you may need to add a bit more stock. Stir well then very gently simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cooking the stew uncovered helps the gravy thicken. When cooking, there should only be tiny little bubbles with the occasional waft of steam coming from the stew.
  4. After one hour, roughly chop the prunes and add them to the pot. Do not omit the prunes! If you don’t tell anyone, they won't even be aware that they are there! Continue cooking for a further ½ hour. The gravy will develop a glossy finish. Remove the bay leaves then season the stew to taste. Serve simply with boiled potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley.