This week's Sunday Dinner™ is a twist on a traditional Beef & Guinness stew. It's jazzed up using a few French cooking techniques that I learned in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
A cautionary note: the measurements here aren't super precise, this is cooking, not baking, art, not science.
Adjust the ingredients as you see fit, if you want a 'beefier' stew, add more beef, if you're not a fan of Guinness, use a lager to deglaze the casserole.
- Beef of your choice (I used 3, ¾-inch steaks that were a bit freezer burnt), cubed
- Enough flour to coat the beef
- Enough butter to brown the beef and the next three ingredients
- 3 small/medium cooking onions, diced
- 4 medium carrots, sliced into discs about ⅛ to ¼-inch thick
- 3½ stalks of celery, sliced like the carrots
A note on the last three ingredients, when the all chopped up, the ratio should be about 1:1:1. This isn't an exact science, don't try to make it one.
- 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- About ½ to ⅔ a 440mL tin of Guinness
- 5 potatoes, cubed
- ¾ of a 950mL box of beef stock (I used the No Name reduced sodium one)
- Worcestershire sauce, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Rosemary, to taste
- Thyme, to taste
- About ½ of a 450g pack of mushrooms (I'm using button mushrooms, if you're using normal mushrooms, slice or dice them)
- Coat the beef in flour (I don't care how you do it).
- In a large pot or casserole (for the Americans, a Dutch oven) on medium-high heat, add enough butter to brown the beef.
- Don't add the beef until the butter is bubbling.
- Add the beef to the bubbling butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the beef is browned, remove it from the casserole.
- Still on medium-high heat, add the rest of the butter to the casserole.
- Once the butter is bubbling, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until the onions become transparent or start to brown slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add the Guinness and scrape the fond off the bottom and sides of the casserole (also known as the tasty browned bits of beef and onion). Drink the rest of the Guinness (it's good for you).
- Put the beef back in the casserole.
- Keep the heat at medium-high until about half of the Guinness is cooked off.
- Add the Worcestershire sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the potatoes, stir to coat with the remaining Guinness.
- Add enough beef stock to just cover everything in the casserole.
- Add salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme to taste. Give everything a good stir.
- Bring the stew to a simmer, then reduce the heat as low as it can go while maintaining the simmer.
- Stir periodically and skim any fat that accumulates on the surface.
- Cook until done*.
- Add the mushrooms, then simmer for another 5-15 minutes (depends on how 'cooked' you like your mushrooms).
*A wise man once asked, what is 'done'. Ask yourself this, 'would I eat this stew if someone served it to me right this instant?'. If yes, it's done, if not, keep cooking it.
*Or just cook it until the potatoes are cooked, your call.