It’s become an annual tradition of ours to have beef stew and Guinness cake on St. Patrick’s Day. However, because my comps were starting that day, we weren’t able to enjoy it like we usually do. However, Will still made the beef stew the week following and I eventually made the Guinness cake for his birthday. Each year, we make a beef stew that we tweak to our liking, based on our previous experiences. So for this year, it seemed fitting to use the new Budget Bytes beef stew as our guide, with a few changes. This seemed pretty similar to our annual stew, involving the same delicious components of beef and Guinness-obviously these are the most important ingredients in a stew that claims to be Irish. This is an expectedly hearty meal that can feed a household for a few days!
Cooking Notes: Will only used 1/2 pound beef, not the full pound that Budget Bytes calls for. He did not include frozen peas, but instead substituted a cup of frozen celery that we had in the freezer, which he put in with the onions and garlic. He also added fresh rosemary and thyme-yum!
Irish Beef Stew (loosely adapted from Budget Bytes; serves 6)
1/2 lbs. boneless stew meat
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup barley
1 cup Guinness
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
3 oz. tomato paste
3 cups beef broth (or bouillon)
1 whole bay leaf
1/2 lb. carrots
1 lb. potato
1 cup frozen celery
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Fresh rosemary and thyme
Cut the beef into smaller, bite-sized chunks. Add the beef and flour to a small bowl and toss the beef in the flour until it is well coated. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add about half the beef chunks and cook until golden brown. Once browned, remove beef, add the next batch, and cook until browned. Don’t stir while it’s browning because it will add onto your cook time; also, don’t put all the beef in at once, since that will crowd the pot.
While the beef is browning, chop the onion into wedges and mince the garlic. After the beef has browned, add the onion, garlic, and celery to the pot and saute for 2-3 minutes (if even that long). Add the tomato paste and beef broth to the pot. Stir until all of the browned bits have dissolved off the bottom. Return the beef to the pot and add the barley, Guinness, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, and pepper. Stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot and bring it to a simmer. Once it simmers, turn the heat low and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, keeping an eye on it to make sure it’s always bubbling.
While the pot simmers, peel and slice the carrots. Wash the potatoes and cut them into 3/4 inch cubes. Once the pot has been simmering for 30 minutes, add the carrots and potatoes. Cover the pot again and simmer for another 15-20 minutes until veggies are tender. Stir in the worcestershire sauce, then taste and adjust spices as necessary.
Recipe: Budget Bytes: Chunky Beef Stew