Guinness Beef Stew by the Parsley Thief

beef9-710From our friend Katie, The Parsley Thief, a hearty winter-time comfort food recipe. It’s the time of the year when I dust off the old crockpot {nowadays, called a slow cooker} & get to cooking up some stews, chili, or pot roasts. On Saturday, it just felt like a good beef stew day. No plans. Just a family day, with a few hours of hockey thrown in there. I dug around in my bulging recipe file {a manila folder stuffed with torn out magazine pages} & came up with this recipe from Cooks Country magazine. This recipe makes for a great weeknight meal, even if you’re gone all day at work, because the prep can be done the night before & it takes all day to cook {on it’s own}. I love the addition of Guinness & bittersweet chocolate. It makes an amazingly rich, dark sauce. I know it will be a hit with whoever you make it for.

Guinness Beef Stew

Adapted from Cooks Country magazine, February 2007
Serves 6-8
3-4 pounds boneless beef chuck stew meat
3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 small onions, chopped
4 cups low-sodium, or homemade chicken stock
1 3/4 cups Guinness Draught, divided
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 bay leaves
5 carrots, peeled & cut into 1″ chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled & cut into 1″ chunks
1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, scrubbed & halved
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Season with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the beef in batches, until browned on all sides {about 8 minutes total}. Transfer to a slow cooker. Continue until all the beef is browned & add more oil to the skillet, if necessary.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the same skillet & add in the onions. Cook until softened & beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in the chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups Guinness, light brown sugar, thyme, chocolate & bay leaves. Bring to a boil & using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the carrots, parsnips & potatoes to the slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 9-10 hours {or on high for 6-7 hours}.
At the end of the cooking time, turn the slow cooker up to high. Whisk the flour & remaining 1/4 cup of Guinness until smooth. Then stir the mixture into the stew. Cover & cook an additional 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the parsley, discard the bay leaves & season with salt & pepper.
You can brown the beef & prepare the onion mixture the night before & add to the slow cooker in the morning, if desired.

Click here for the printable recipe.