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Monday, January 4, 2010

A Newish Recipe to Share (not my official entry for the week)

Since Tricia and Chris have both posted, I felt as if I should post something as well. This is a recipe I have made only once before (and am making again today per Chad's request). This is not my official entry for the week - that I am making for dinner tomorrow night. This is one of those recipes I feel that needs to be shared, as if it is some moral imperative. (Yes, in my opinion, it is that good.)

Irish Beef Stew (from

* 1/4 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin, or EVOO for you Rachael Ray fans)
* 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)
* 6 large garlic cloves, minced
* 6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth (I use beef stock)
* 1 cup of Guinness beer
* 1 cup fine red wine (I use a Shiraz I enjoy. Rule of thumb: if you'll drink it, use it.)
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 2 bay leaves
* 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter - the real stuff, none of this vegetable oil spread- either salted or unsalted, I use what I have on hand
*3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
*1 large onion, chopped
* 2 cups carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used baby carrots since we have those on hand and you don't have to peel them)
* salt and pepper to taste **
* 2 tablespoons parsley either dried or fresh, whatever you have on hand

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in large pan over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Serves 4 to 6.

** "to taste" means just that - taste the stew before adding salt and pepper. Only add if you think it needs it. If adding salt and pepper, taste again (with a different utensil!) after adding. Remember, others can always add more salt and pepper to suit their tastes when the stew is in their own bowl. Also, try to encourage the practice of tasting the meal before dumping pepper and salt all over it. (Sorry, pet peeve.)

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