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Slow and Low Beef Stout Stew
A Crock of Stew
I have been craving something hearty and comforting for a while now. Not sure if it has anything to do with the weather, especially since, here in Texas, temperatures can range in the 80s one day and dip to the 40s the next. So, for me, meal planning isn't left to the climate.
Of course, St Patrick's Day brings on all kinds of Irish recipes, Irish stew among them, stew was on my mind. Then there is the stout factor. I love cooking with alcohol (sue me!) ... it burns off, but leaves such lovely flavor behind. So this recipe includes a bottle of Guinness.
I left potatoes out of this recipe because, for me, the lovely gravy it produces is best over fluffy mashed potatoes. However, if you want, by all means add potatoes and any other root vegetable that strikes your fancy. Another optional addition is celery ... but then, I like to play with my food and add or omit at my whim.
About the gravy ... I started cooking when I was about ten years old. Simple things that my mom trusted me to make for Sunday dinner. Pot roast (which is where I first learned of the wonders of mixing cream of mushroom soup and dry onion soup!) and rosemary fried chicken were my favorites. Through the years I have, of course, added to my culinary repertoire and expanded and enhanced those recipes learned long ago.
Sunday was my day because my folks were 49er season ticket holders and the games usually went on too late to fix our usual scrumptious Sunday meal. My grandma Sophie was right there making sure I didn't foul up. Being a teacher, she was determined to let me do it on my own. She also taught me how to make the best darned scratch gravy in our world! I may let you in on that little secret down the road.
This recipe makes a tasty gravy that you can use with any beef dish and all you need is a can of cream of mushroom soup and a packet of dry onion soup mix ... especially good on meat you braise for hours. Oh, my. Yes, indeed!
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 ½ cups flour, for dredging
- ½ teaspoon each garlic powder, thyme, marjoram, paprika, pepper, salt, add to flour
- 1 onion, halved and sliced
- 4 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced (to your taste)
- 2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 ½ cups stout, like Guinness
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
- 1 packet dry onion soup mix
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons flour, for thickening, if necessary
- ½ cup sour cream, to finish (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, for browning stew meat
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Dredge the stew meat in seasoned flour and brown on all sides. Remove from pan to crock pot.
- Add mushrooms and onions to drippings in pan - add a bit more oil, if necessary, and cook down for a few minutes until onions are wilted. Remove to crock pot.
- To the pan drippings add ½ cup of the stout and stir and scrape brown bits from pan. Add all to crock pot.
- Add remaining stout, carrots, cream of mushroom soup, onion soup, and water to the crock pot. (At this point you would add other root type veg of your choice). Stir and cover.
- Let cook for at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add sour cream to finished stew and mix in thoroughly. This step is optional.
- Serve over noodles, rice, mashed potatoes, or a hunk of rustic bread. Enjoy!
You can also serve with a warm loaf of this fabulous Crusty Bread. The bread recipe I found while looking for something else.
It is amazingly simple, although you do need at least 12 hours before baking.
We've made this bread several times, both plain and with added herbs and cheeses. It has turned out perfectly every time and I highly recommend it.