Beef & Guinness stew
Taiwan is not a place of half measures. It is either sweltering hot, with a very high humidity or it is cold and damp, with the iciness creeping into your bones via the tiled concrete floors. In between these polar opposites, there is about one or two weeks that one could call spring or autumn with really nice weather. This past week we saw the half yearly "change of season" and the temperature fell with about 10 ̊C in one week.
Not that I am complaining, though. I am most certainly more of a winter person than a summer person (probably because of my build) and I spend a lot more time in my kitchen in the winter. This week was no exception and I felt the need for something I haven't tried before. I've always made my beef stews in the style of a bœuf bourguignon, using the red wine to whip the beef into submission. This time round, as I was walking past the refrigerator at the supermarket, I thought why not try doing the same with Guinness in stead of wine? Using Guinness is certainly not a new idea, but one that I haven't tried before.
It takes quite long to do in the oven, but there is very little preparation to do. You can basically just pop it in the oven and forget about it. The result however, is so worth the wait. You get a robust stew with a tasty, rich sauce and it fills your kitchen with the most wonderful aromas.
Beef & Guinness stew
- 2 large onions, diced
- 1 tsp. mixed herbs
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1kg of braising steak or stewing beef, cut into cubes (about 4cm by 4cm)
- 6 tbsp of flour well seasoned with salt and pepper
- 500ml of Guinness
- 250ml beef stock (or whatever stock you have available)
- 2 ripe tomotoes, peeled and chopped
- 1tsp. sugar
- 1 punnet of button mushrooms (optional)
- 1 punnet of baby corn (optional)
- 1 large or 2 small carrots, diced
- olive oil for frying
- Cook the onions,mixed herbs and garlic with a little olive oil in a large casserole until the onion is softened and translucent. Dust the braising steak in the seasoned flour and brown in a hot pan with a little oil.
- When the beef has a good, even colour, add it to the pan with the onions and pour in the Guinness. Top up with the stock to just cover the beef. Add the chopped tomato, sugar and carrots.
- Cover and simmer over a very low heat or transfer to a 150C oven for 2-3 hours until the beef is meltingly tender (check after 2 hours). If you are using mushrooms and corn, add it during the last hour of cooking. Season to taste.
Serve with roasted garlic mash and seasonal vegetables. Enjoy!
(Alternatively this stew can also be prepared in a slow cooker. This stew also freezes well.)