JC Cooks: Winter Guinness Beef Stew

December 16, 2014

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It’s not often that I am home all day on a Sunday, and even less often that I feel like cooking when I finally am. But last weekend a few things got cancelled and with the rain pouring outside we decided that it was the ideal day to stay cuddled up inside. And what better thing to go with that than a delicious stew bubbling on the stove for part of the day. Now this stew does take a wee while to cook but it isn’t too labour intensive really, set it all up then a stir every now and again.

You really are rewarded for the time you take to make this dish, it is so so good. It honestly tastes as though you have put lots of ingredients in when you really haven’t. This was originally made for me by my sisters boyfriend and as soon as I had it, I knew I needed the recipe – so all thanks go to him! It was originally made with potatoes but as Paul and I am on a sweet potato kick (check out my soup here!) so we decided to have it sweet potato and it was really good. Next time you have a Sunday afternoon at home, do give this a try.

Ingredients:

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1 big bottle of Guinness

1 Onion (diced)

2 Carrots (diced)

2 sticks of celery (diced)

2 Tbsp tomato paste

Half pack of bacon lardons (or as many as you like really!)

400g diced beef casserole

Beef Stock (if needed)

Handful of flour

2 sweet potatoes

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First you will need a big pan which will fit all of your ingredients. Toss the beef in the handful of flour until it is coated then throw it into the pan on a high heat. We just want to brown the meat to bring out the flavour so just keep it up really high and toss occasionally for about 5 minutes until you get the meat that lovely brown colour above.

Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Leave all the juices you can in as these will contribute to our gravy. Next throw the lardons into the pan and get them cooking for a couple of minutes. Then add all of your diced vegetables. Sweat your vegetables and bacon into the pan until it starts to soften, after 10 minutes add the tomato paste.

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Mix your tomato paste in and leave to cook for another 5 minutes.

Add your beef back into the pan and then pour your bottle of guinness in. Take it up to the boil then immediately turn the heat right down (I had it on 2 out of 10 on my cooker).

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Pop the lid on and leave it for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Give it the occasional stir and make sure it isn’t boiling, it should just be slightly bubbling away. If you notice you are running low on liquid then add some beef stock but I didn’t need to.

After that time, chop your sweet potato and add it back into the pan. Leave this for another 45 minutes.

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After three hours in total it should look something like this, everything should be soft and falling apart and the sauce turned into a gravy. Dish up and tuck in – this makes about 4 servings along with some crusty bread.

I don’t understand how this tastes so damn good, especially considering I don’t really like Guinness at all when it is fresh – but after being cooked for 3 hours it is a whole other story!

What have you enjoyed cooking this winter?

JC xx

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