Beef and Carrot Stew with Guinness
Here in Colorado, winter isn’t a season. It has a capricious quality, arriving for a day here, a week there, when the mercury plunges. Then, with a change in the wind, things warm up again, and I spend time eyeing the skies with the hope that it will cloud over, that our bluebird sky will turn gray, encouraging me to cook up a stew. It’s not that a good, hearty stew isn’t welcome without snowfall, or at least a chilly breeze, but when winter behaves as it should, it certainly puts me in the mood. This rich beef stew is perfect for those cold days. It’s also the perfect way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! Make sure you have an extra can of Guinness and a pint glass nearby for sipping while you stir.
2 T olive oil
2 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck short ribs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
Note: the smaller you dice an onion, the easier it will be for it to melt into the sauce, helping to create rich flavor and texture.
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp fresh thyme leaves (stripped from stems)
2 T tomato paste
2 T flour
1 bottle Guinness or other dark stout beer
1 3/4 cups low salt beef broth
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
Warm oil in large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Add beef to pot and brown, in batches if necessary, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to bowl, leaving drippings in pot.
Lower heat to medium and add onions and garlic, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add tomato paste and flour, stirring to incorporate onion mixture, about 1 minute.
Add beer. Stir until mixture is thick and smooth, scraping up browned bits from pot, about 2 minutes.
Add broth, thyme leaves and beef with any accumulated juices. Bring to simmer, cover and reduce heat to medium-low, simmering for about 45 minutes.
Add carrots. Remove lid and simmer approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking on liquid level, until beef and carrots are tender. Add broth in quarter cupfuls, if dry during simmer time. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in shallow bowls, either alone, or nestled up to mashed potatoes.
Serves 4, and can be doubled easily.
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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.