Guinness Beef Stew

gus bf stew

There is nothing better on a cold winter (or spring!!) day than a hot, hearty bowl of stew and this version is OUT OF THIS WORLD! This stew has such a rich, well-developed flavor that I promise you, once you try this version you might never make it your old way again! I thought that red wine made my stew perfection but using the Guinness was even better, having it both cook with the stew and as a finishing touch at the end added two layers of flavor that was so delicious.

I came across this recipe in a new cookbook that I just bought which is put out by the Cook’s Country TV show entitled, The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook: 10th Anniversary Edition , and it’s an AMAZING cookbook. There are so many incredible recipes from soups to breakfasts to desserts. Everything is clearly explained and well thought out, it’s definitely worth adding to your cookbook collection!

The original recipe calls for the use of chicken broth but I much prefer the richness of stock instead, I think it adds a much better flavor to the finished stew. What is interesting about this recipe is that they eliminate the step of searing and browning the meat before cooking. By cooking the stew uncovered in the oven it allows the meat to take on a flavorful browning and as the liquid in the stew reduces down the overall flavor becomes even more rich and concentrated. Great time-saving technique!

Lastly, I love to cook stews in my large enameled cast iron Dutch oven, it’s a great size at 6 qts and it retains heat well and cooks so beautifully. You can spend hundreds on a Dutch oven pot, especially ones made by Le Creuset®, Staub®, etc., but Lodge® puts out a really excellent product that costs pennies compared to other brands. I picked up this Lodge® Dutch oven on Amazon for only $45!! That’s a crazy deal! If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, just click here to order. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 (3.5 – 4lb) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, pulled at seams and trimmed into 1.5″ pieces OR good quality pre-cut stew meat
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I prefer Kitchen Basics brand)
  • 1 1/4 cups Guinness Draught
  • 1 1/2 tbs packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 lb carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tbs minced fresh parsley

Instructions

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 325ºF. Season the beef with Kosher salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8-10 minutes.

Add tomato paste and garlic and cook until rust-colored and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in chicken stock, 3/4 cup of Guinness, sugar and thyme, scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in beef and return to a simmer. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, for 90 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking.

Stir in the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking until the beef and vegetables are tender, about an hour. Stir halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of Guinness and parsley. Adjust seasonings and serve hot.

**Tip – This stew goes really well with a warm loaf of my delicious Beer Bread .**

 

Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich

Boogaloo Sandwichn

“What in the heck is a Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwich?”. That was EXACTLY my reaction when I came across this recipe in the current months issue of, Cook’s Country Magazine . (April/May 2018) It is basically a Sloppy Joe sandwich but with a bit of a different flavor profile. It is more sweet and zesty instead of just savory like traditional Sloppy Joe sandwiches are. Evidently, this is a popular sandwich in the Detroit area, I was intrigued to try something so regional so I decided to give it a go! Shockingly, my daughter, who is the the most picky eater in the world, loved it! She ate it with no complaint and she didn’t try to pick anything out of it which is always a plus! When Emerson eats something, I know the recipe is a keeper!

I adhered to the recipe for the most part, making only a slight adjustment with the chili powder. I felt that 3/4 tsp of hot chili powder would be a touch too hot for kids so I cut that down to just under a 1/2 tsp which was the right call. The finished meal had just enough to heat to be noticeable but not overwhelming. Also, I was a little short on beef so I used 1 lb of ground beef and 1/4 lb of ground pork. The cooked meat turned out very tender and delicious so I recommend trying the combination if you have both on hand. Lastly, I didn’t have any Italian sub rolls in the house so I decided to use English Muffins instead which worked out fine, they were nice and sturdy and held all of the meat well.

Just a little footnote, in the future I think I might adjust my seasonings to make it a touch less sweet. I think the combination of brown sugar and apple cider vinegar in the amounts called for added a little too much sweetness for my palate but that’s just preference. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking. Enjoy!

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbs packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 3/4 tsp granulated garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

For the sandwiches

  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 (6 inch) Italian sub rolls or English muffins, toasted
  • 8 slices of American cheese

Instructions

For the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

For the sandwiches, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat to 350ºF. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the beef, onion, pepper and salt and cook, breaking up the pieces with a spoon, until the liquid has evaporated and the meat begins to sizzle, about 10 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Place rolls on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat the bottoms of the bread with the remaining sauce. Evenly divide the meat mixture among the bottom of the rolls and top with 2 slices of American cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the rolls are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Cover each sandwich with the top of a bun and serve.

French Onion Soup Chicken with Pasta

frenchonionsoup

One of my most favorite foods in the world is French Onion Soup Gratinee. It has such an incredible depth of flavor and there is nothing better on a cold day than a hot bowl of soup dripping with ooey gooey cheese. This meal right here is like French Onion Soup on a plate, it was absolutely divine! I adapted this recipe from one posted by For the Love of Cooking. The recipe calls for cooking the chicken in a separate pan but for the sake of convenience and because I didn’t want to waste any yummy bits I cooked the whole meal in my enameled cast iron dutch oven. Less to clean and more flavor imparted into the dish.

Original Recipe – French Onion Chicken Breast

Next time, red wine is absolutely in order. I usually add Merlot to my own French Onion Soup recipe but sadly, I had none left in the house this evening. I think adding red wine to the sauce would add another nice dimension of flavor to this meal. If you would like to add red wine, throw some in after you add the garlic and thyme to the onions. Adding it at this point will help to deglaze the pan and it’ll give the wine a chance to burn off the alcohol. Then continue with the recipe as instructed.

Because this recipe made a nice amount of sauce I decided to boil some penne pasta to go alongside the chicken. I tossed 1/2 lb of pasta with a 2 tbs of salted butter, a few splashes of the pasta cooking water, and a few healthy spoonfuls of the chicken sauce after cooking. To finish off the pasta I mixed in a nice handful of shredded mozzarella. It was absolutely delicious and a perfect, easy side dish for this meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced (I used Vidalia)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups beef broth (or stock if you’d like a richer flavor)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded OR Gruyere, grated

Instructions

Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and a little salt and pepper and cook until they are a deep golden brown, about 25-30 min. Add a bit of beef broth/stock as need to deglaze the pan and keep the onions from burning. You want deep, rich browned onions, not burnt ones so the key here is low and slow.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the garlic, thyme, and flour to the onions and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add wine here if you’re using it and cook for about 2-3 minutes so that it deglazes the pan, make sure to scrape up all of the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Add in 1 cup of beef broth/stock, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Remove the onions and sauce, reserve in a bowl for later. Add the oil to the dutch oven and heat it up. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and then add to the hot oil. Brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining beef broth/stock and deglaze it, making sure to scrape up the browned bits from the chicken. Whisk in the mustard and vinegar, bring to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the onions and sauce back into the pot and mix well to combine. Add in a few splashes of beef broth/stock if the mixture seems too thick. Add the chicken back into the pot, spoon the sauce over each piece, cover with a lid and bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Remove from oven and sprinkle shredded cheese all over the chicken and broil until melted and browned. Remove the chicken from the pot and plate on dishes. If you made the pasta as a side, toss some of the sauce with the pasta and then plate alongside the chicken. Spoon extra sauce over both and finish it off with a light sprinkle of parsley.

Enjoy.