There are a few classic dishes that are ubiquitous with St. Patrick’s Day: Corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and Shepard’s Pie all come to mind. But there’s only one that marries our love for stout and steak – the classic Guinness Beef Stew. And while we may all now consider cooking with beer to be the norm – Beer Can Chicken anyone? – cooking with beer was actually popularized by the Irish long before the practice made its way to the States.
When it comes to cooking, the major flavor component that beer contributes comes from the hops. Hops are a type of flower (from the same plant family as cannabis) that are added at varying stages of the beer brewing process. They act as a natural preservative and also impart an acidic, bitter and tangy flavor to the beer. These same flavors are then imparted to the food when beer is used in the cooking process, so you want to cook with a beer whose hop flavors you also find delicious. And who doesn’t find Guinness delicious? That’s why our take on beef stew uses a can of Guinness to balance out the beef and tomato based stock and substitutes Daikon radish for potatoes to achieve an equally hearty and earthy, yet healthy, version of a holiday classic.
Also, before digging in, read our guide for properly drinking a Guinness along with your delicious stew!
Guinness Beef Stew
1.5 lbs of beef stew meat
4 cups of beef stock
2 cups of water
1 can of Guinness
1 small can of tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 bay leaves
2 small bunches of carrots cut into ⅓ inch pieces
1 large daikon radish cut into 1 inch cubes
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion chopped
Chopped parsley for garnish
Salt & pepper
Season beef with salt and pepper.
Generously coat the bottom of a large dutch oven or stock pot with olive oil. Heat to medium high. Once hot, add beef stew meat. Brown on all sides using tongs. Add garlic to flavor oil and beef. Then, add broth, beer, water, sugar, bay leaves. Bring to boil and then simmer. Let simmer for an hour and a half. Stir occasionally.
I’d use this wait time to chop the vegetables. I’ve described the size cut I like for my vegetables, but you should chop them to whatever size you prefer! Also, I decided to use daikon radish instead of potatoes. They are less hearty and feel healthier / lighter while serving the same purpose.
Add vegetables and tomato paste to the simmering broth, make sure the tomato paste has fully dissolved. Begin to add salt to taste.
Let simmer for 30 more minutes and turn off heat. Remove the bay leaves.
In a separate pot or sauce pan, transfer several ladles of the vegetables. Add broth until vegetables are fully submerged. Using an immersion hand blender, puree the vegetables. (Alternately, you could use a blender instead.)
Transfer the puree back to the stew. This is how we thicken the stew, a healthy alternative to a roux or cornstarch. Bring the stew back to a simmer and stir thoroughly. Salt to taste.
Garnish with parsley, serve with a crusty piece of bread and pair with Guinness!
Clara Kim makes food, drinks wine and writes about it on her food blog, Make A Story