Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beef and Guinness Stew

When I make James' Christmas gingerbread I generally have a bit of Guinness left over, waiting in the fridge for a new recipe. This year I shopped in a hurry so I had more left than usual and had to come up with a worthy dish to use it up. I settled on a hearty beef and Guinness stew with parsnips instead of carrots. We had beautiful fresh parsnips in the fridge and it's still 13 miles to the store. Based on a recipe from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Fenniger I tossed the beef in oil and then flour seasoned with S&P and cayenne. The meat is seared in a hot skillet and moved to an oven proof dutch oven. In the same skillet, with the heat turned down, I left two chopped onions, 2 sliced cloves of garlic, and 2 TB of tomato paste mixed with 4 TB of water to simmer in the covered saucepan while I added peeled, chopped parsnips and several sprigs of thyme to the dutch oven. Next I added the onion mixture to the pot and set the skillet back on the stove with about 3/4 cup Guinness poured in. When the liquid came to a boil in the frying pan I scraped up all of the browned bits left from searing the meat and poured that along with another 3/4 cup of Guinness into the dutch oven. The stew baked in a 350ยบ oven for about 3 hours until the meat was fall apart tender.
About 15 minutes before the stew was ready I mixed up some thyme dumplings with 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, plenty of chopped thyme leaves, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 TB melted butter, and 1/2 cup of milk. I dropped the dumplings by TBs onto the simmering stew, covered the pot and returned the dish to the oven for 15 minutes. Beef, beer, parsnips and thyme -- good for what ails ya'.

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