It’s funny how winter just naturally makes people crave warm, hearty meals. As soon as the weather begins to chill I start dreaming of stews and soups and this Stout Beef Stew is always on the winter menu.
I originally found this recipe on Epicurious many years ago, and I’ve been making variations of it over the years to get it just right. I’m not a big Stout beer drinker, but I love the flavor of Stout beer in stews; it adds a richness and bite to the flavor of the stew. I also love this recipe because it doesn’t take a long time to make, but it tastes like I’ve spent hours in the kitchen preparing it.
Stout Beef Stew
1 1/2-2 Pounds of beef stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes. There are a lot of options for this; stores sell pre-cut beef for stew, but it’s usually more expensive. I’ve used a lot of different cuts of beef, from London Broil, Top Round Steak, even Tri Tip and they’ve all been great. Just use something you like and that’s economical since you need quite a bit of beef. I like to have a lot of beef in my stew so I usually use 2 pounds.
1/4 Cup of oil. I use Olive Oil but you can also use Vegetable or Canola oil.
1 Cup of flour
1 Teaspoon of onion powder
1 Teaspoon of garlic powder
1 Teaspoon of seasoning salt
1/2 Teaspoon of pepper
1/2 Teaspoon of salt
6 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons of butter
1 Large yellow onion, chopped
2 Cups of carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks; you will need about 5-6 carrots to make 2 cups
4-5 Celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
3 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces. I’ve also used Russett potatoes, but I prefer the flavor of Yukon Gold
1 Bottle of Stout Beer-I used Guinness but any Stout beer will work. If you prefer to leave out the beer, you can substitute red wine or extra beef stock.
4 Cups of beef stock (one container)
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
1 Tablespoon of Worchestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon of sugar
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
5-6 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Melt the butter, and add the onions, carrots, celery and potatoes to the skillet. Saute the vegetables, stirring frequently until they are golden, about 20 minutes. Keep in mind that the vegetables will not be cooked through and completely tender yet; they will finish cooking in the stew. If the vegetables are cooked until tender at this stage, they will become mushy in the stew. Remove the vegetables from the heat and set aside for now.
Meanwhile, heat the Olive Oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Combine the flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, seasoning salt and salt and pepper, and coat the beef chunks in flour. Once the oil is heated, add the beef to the pot and brown it on all sides, about 5 minutes. Be sure to shake the excess flour off of the meat before placing it in the pan; too much flour can make the stew thicker than desired.
Once the meat is browned, add the garlic and saute for another minute or until the garlic becomes soft and fragrant. Add the beer to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently and scraping the bits off of the bottom of the pot. Once the beer has been brought to a boil, add the tomato paste, Worchestershire, and sugar and stir to combine. Add the beef stock to the pan and stir.
After the stock has been added to the pot, add the sauteed vegetables and stir to combine. Lastly, add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs to the pot. I place the whole thyme sprigs in the pot then remove the sticks before serving, but if you would prefer, you can remove the thyme from the sticks and add the thyme leaves to the pot. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Reduce the heat to low and allow the stew to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs, and tilt the pot to the side to spoon any fat from the top of the pot. I like to serve the stew with warm french bread, or even in a bread bowl.