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Beef & Guinness Stew – image (c) Cheryl Shanahan

There’s a refreshing crispness in the air these days. And that briskness make me feel like braising or stewing things in the kitchen.

Sunday marked the first Stew o’ the Season (and, yes: we have already enjoyed the Inaugural Fall Chili, but I didn’t photograph it. Therefore, it does not exist). The below recipe is a modification of one that published in Cooking Light  a couple years ago (I guess it was a couple of years ago. I ripped the recipe out of the magazine, and there’s no date on it).

Beef and Guinness Stew
serves 4

2 lb cubed chuck or other stewing beef
3-4t flour
salt and pepper
2T canola oil, divided into 2 equal portions
1T butter, divided into 2 equal portions
1 large onion, quartered
1 can of tomato paste
1 bottle or can of Guinness
4 c beef broth
3 carrots, peeled and sliced on diagonal
1 lb small white potatoes, scrubbed and quartered

1. Dust beef with flour, salt and pepper (I just throw it all in a large re-sealable bag and shake it up).
2. Heat 1 portion of oil and butter over medium to medium-hot heat in large Dutch oven or deep, heavy-bottomed pan (I swear by my LeCrueset). Add half of the beef (or – as much as you can without crowding it): and brown on all sides, approximately 5 minutes until there is a nice crust on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Repeat with remaining oil, butter and floured, seasoned beef.
4. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add tomato paste and stir frequently for one minute.
6. Add can/bottle of Guinness and beef broth. Loosen any crusty bits from the bottom of the pan with the spoon.
7. Add in beef and bring to a boil. Cover with tight lid, reduce heat and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
8. Remove lid. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Let cook for another hour, stirring occasionally.
9. Add carrots and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover with tight lid, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until meat is tender.
10. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve.