Monday, March 14, 2011

Beef (Lamb) Stew with Guiness

This robust stew has a wonderfully thick gravy, made without adding any starchy thickener.  If you choose to make this with lamb, you may have to ask the butcher to cut you some meat for stew.  Make sure its a good quality cut of lean lamb.  Serve with Irish Brown Bread, or a crusty white bread.

4 pounds lean beef or lamb, cut into cubes, fat removed
4 large potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups baby carrots, or the equivalent cut carrots
1 large, sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons, fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon crushed or minced garlic
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
3 small cans beef broth
1 can or bottle of Irish stout beer like Guinness or Murphy's
olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Trim any excess fat from beef or lamb cubes.  In large dutch oven, heat a small amount of oil.  Brown the meat by small batches, in oil, over medium-high heat.  Remove meat and set aside.

Add another small amount of oil to dutch oven.  Add onion and garlic.  Reduce heat to low, and cook onions until they are golden at edges.  Add tomatoes, seasonings, and browned meat.  Add half the potatoes and carrots to the stew.  Finally, add 2 cans of broth (reserving the third can), and the stout.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.

When the potatoes and carrots are tender, remove them from the stew with a slotted spoon.  Set aside.  Add the remaining, uncooked vegetables, and the remaining can of broth, to the hot stew.  Bring to boil again, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Continue to simmer for an additional 30 to 40 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

In the meantime, puree the cooked vegetables in the bowl of a food processor, or vial of an immersion blender.  Before serving, stir the pureed veggies, back into the stew.  Stir well.  Bring the stew back up to temperature, and serve.

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