This is a firm favorite of Handsome’s and who wouldn’t want melt in your mouth beef, succulent mushrooms and a stouty broth, all with hints of caraway seed in the background. I’ve been keeping this one on the back burner, ready to share with you all for St. Patrick’s Day. This recipe can be varied in so many ways, but the really important thing is to cook and cook and cook the stew, until the beef is literally falling apart. It smells so amazing, it’s hard not to eat it after a couple of hours, but patience will be rewarded in the flavors and textures. I serve this with rice and garlicky green beans, or mustard mashed potatoes… it doesn’t matter too much what it goes with, as the beef is the star of the show.
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper
3 lbs stewing beef, cubed and trimmed of fat
2 tablespoons oil (of your choice)
3 large yellow onions, diced (not too fine)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups beef stock
2 cans Guinness or other stout
1 teaspoon caraway seed
4 carrots, peeled and halved then cut in 1/2 inch chunks
500g whole small button mushrooms or larger sliced in half
3 parsnips, peeled and halved then cut in 1/2 inch chunks
- Place the beef, salt, pepper and flour in a large ziplock bag and move the contents around with your hands until the beef is coated in the seasoned flour mixture.
- Heat half the oi in the base of a heavy bottomed saucepan (non-stick doesn’t work great for this, try a Dutch oven). Fry the beef in batches (it should not cover the base of the pan) at a high heat so it browns all over. It may stick to the bottom of the pan – you want this, it will add to the amazing flavor later. Keep the browned beef in a bowl to one side.
- Cook the onions in the sticky meat mess at the bottom of the pan, adding a little more oil if necessary. Move the onions to the side of the pan and add the tomato paste to the center of the pot, stirring and combining with the onions as the toato fragrance hits you. Cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the beef back to the pan and add the Guinness, keeping the heat high and bringing the Guinness to the boil, then add the beef stock, mushrooms and caraway seed. Bring to the boil again.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and leave for two hours.
- Uncover, increase heat to medium high and boil to reduce the liquid in the pot for one hour stirring every 15 minutes or so, to be sure the bottom of the pan doesn’t stick.
- Add the remaining vegetables, cover again and cook for one more hour, until the parsnips are disintegrating into the sauce and the carrots are tender.
- Serve with rice, mashed potatoes or thick sliced bread and butter.