Guinness, that dark rich nectar produced in Ireland since 1759 is not just for drinking. Leave it to the Irish to come up with other uses for their beloved native beverage! Guinness has certainly been around the block. According to their website, in 1909 Sir Douglas Mawson, the Australian geologist/explorer, left some Guinness behind at his base camp; it was later found in 1927. Unclear is whether the person who found it actually drank it. Today Guinness is brewed in about 49 countries and sold in almost 150 countries. Trivia: Where in the world is Guinness as popular as it is in Ireland? Nigeria!
While the weather outside is frightful, your body will feel so delightful while eating a bowl of this rich, and aromatic stew. The good news is that you don’t have to go to Ireland, not even to an Irish restaurant to enjoy a steaming bowl of Guinness Stew. By the way, before I go on, I need to tell you that from what I have learned, just about every house in Ireland has their particular recipe. So you really can’t ask an Irish person: How do you make Guinness Stew? You will get many an answer.
I first tried Guinness Stew during a recent trip to Ireland. Now, I am not a beer drinker by any means, and at first I was somewhat shy about trying it out, especially since I know Guinness has a strong taste. I did remind myself that one of the pleasures of being on vacation is opening one’s mind to different experiences, and yes flavors too. So, I tried Guinness Stew. I loved it! The rich taste of the broth was perfect; it did not taste like beer. As I took the first bite I thought of how good a bowl of Guinness Stew would taste during the long cold winter months of the northeast where I live.
In my desire to recreate the Guinness Stew I tried and loved on my most recent vacation, I’ve worked hard to come up with my own version. In my humble opinion it is pretty close to what I had in Ireland minus the cozy pub atmosphere. Now I need to find a true Irishman to see if it passes the litmus test. Like all stews, Guinness Stew is Irish comfort food: tender, juicy pieces of meat flavored with spices and cooked slowly to bring out a host of flavors. The aroma that fills your house while the stew is cooking will make your mouth water, but don’t hurry, be patient. All good things take time! Although I will confess that many a times I can’t help myself and have to try it, at least the broth by mopping it up with a piece of Irish soda bread. We all have our weaknesses, right? I am currently drooling! I need to go get myself a bowl of stew!
* For a paleo diet friendly option, omit the Irish soda bread.
- 1½ lbs. stew meat cut into 1" cubes
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 14.5 oz. can Guinness (paleo diet: beef stock)
- I cup beef broth
- 4 carrots peeled and sliced thin
- 8 baby potatoes cut in half (paleo diet: use another root vegetable)
- 1 large onion sliced thin
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 celery rib minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1½ tsp. Kosher salt (paleo diet: sea salt)
- 2 Tbsp. flour (paleo diet: cornstarch, reduce amount by half)
- ½ Tbsp dried thyme
- ¼ tsp. ground caraway
- In a Dutch oven, on medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until onions are translucent. Add the beef and sprinkle with flour.
- Add Kosher salt, thyme and caraway. Stir for about 3 minutes. Add the Guinness and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for about 2 minutes. Add beef broth, bay leaves and brown sugar. Turn heat down to medium low.
- Cover and cook for 1½ hours.
- In a non-stick skillet, using the remaining tablespoon of olive oil sauté potatoes and carrots, until potatoes are golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- After the stew has cooked for 1 hour, place potatoes and carrots in the stew pot and finish cooking.
- Serve with plenty of Irish soda bread.