Jack’s Irish Guinness Stew

Who doesn’t like a great stew when the weather turns cold? Slow cooker stew offers a few advantages: (1) You can basically throw a bunch of crap into the slow cooker, let it cook all day and your house smells great and (2) It creates a shit-ton of leftovers you can eat all week. Stew gets better the longer it sits in the fridge (well, until it starts to smell funny and turn green, anyway).

I’ve made my stew mostly with wines over the last few years, but have gotten into using Guinness in my mixtures this fall. This stew recipe is based on this one found at Allrecipes.com, but, of course, I’ve modified it to make it better than the original. Here’s how it all breaks down:

1/2 cup flour
3 tbs olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb beef, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb veal, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb lamb, on the bone
1 large or medium onions, chopped
2 cans/bottles Guinness
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tbs Fresh parsley, finely diced
1-2 tbs Fresh thyme, finely diced
1-2 tbs Fresh rosemary, finely diced
2 bay leaves
2 lb red potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb baby carrots, cut in half
7-15 oz beef broth
Sea salt

1. Chop all your veggies.
2. Mix the flour, salt and pepper on a dinner plate. Save the flour.
3. Heat a skillet, ideally cast-iron, to high for 2 minutes. Put 2 tbs of the oil onto it, and coat the pan.
4. Drop the meat onto the skillet. Brown on all sides. Drop into your slow cooker when done (you might need a couple of batches).
5. Put the last of the oil onto the skillet, turn down to medium. Add onions and garlic, sautee for 5-7 minutes, until soft. Scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet into the mixture.
6. Pour both bottles of Guinness into the pan over the onions and garlic. Turn it up to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow to reduce for 5-7 minutes. Then pour over the meat in the slow cooker.
7. Throw all the herbs, veggies and potatoes into the slow cooker. Pour beef broth slowly into the slow cooker over the stuff until the liquid fills it to 2/3-3/4 full (depending on whether you prefer your stews to have more or less liquid).
8. Cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 5 hours.
9. Mix in the rest of the flour.
10. Cook on high for 1 hour or low for 2 hours.

Allow stew to cool for 10 minutes before serving, and to room temperature before storing in the fridge. Serve with some crusty bread.