Sunday, November 10, 2013

Irish Beef Stew with Porter Beer - 52 Cooking with Beer

Pin It Now!

Fall is here and Winter is coming... No more fresh tomatoes and peppers.  Instead seasonal cooks start using root vegetables like these potatoes and carrots that will last through the winter (thus the term, "Root Cellar").  No dish is more fit for a long hard cold winter than a good beef stew...

Of course the Irish perfected the dish, using easy to find ingredients.  This has been Americanized with plenty of beef.  In an authentic Irish Stew you would have to look very hard to find some beef.  Infact you would be more likely and lucky to find rabbit... but I digress.

Slooooow cooking, low simmering the stew insures even the toughest of meat becomes fork tender.  The low simmer or braising of the meat is the key to deliciousness and tenderness... Melts in your mouth tender.  Also all of the flavors of the seasonings have a chance to mold, meld and become one, seasoning the potatoes and carrots to perfection!

The recipe is filled with lots of ingredients, but is simple to follow. Only hint is to be sure to dry each piece of meat with a paper towel before adding the meat to the seasoned flour.  This help the beef to brown.

Also, do not worry about the brown (burnt looking) bits that form on the bottom of the pan.  This stuff has LOTS of flavor and the leftover flour and butter bits forma roux and help to thicken the broth as the stew cooks.  You will "deglaze" the pan with the stout beer before adding all the other ingredients.

Of course the fun ingredient in the stew is the beer.  Don;t worry about serving this to the kids, all of the alcohol will cook out.  But all of the flavor from the stout will stay in the stew.

I like to shop local for my produce and for my beer.  I am lucky enough to live in Kansas City, where my home town brewery is Boulevard Brewing Company.  They make a fabulous beer to cook with, their Boulevard Bully! Porter...
The intense flavors of dark-roasted malt in Boulevard’s rendition of the classic English porter are perfectly balanced by a generous and complex hop character. Bully! Porter’s robust nature makes it the ideal companion to a variety of foods, from seafood to chocolate.
When shopping for a beer for this stew, be sure to find a heavy dark brown beer.  There are variations of Porters, you want what is called a double Porter or Stout Porter.  All that dark roasted malts and hops transfer their complexity of flavor from the bottle to the stew nicely.  Most liquor stores will sell single bottles if you do not drink this type of beer... But a six pack could inspire your cooking.  Just know that the quality of the stew will suffer without the stout or Porter style beer.

OK... Warm up, dish up a bit of the stew and think warm thoughts!

OK... Here's what I did...

Irish Beef Stew with Porter (Stout) Beer

  • 4 TBS Butter
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 2 TBS Garlic Powder
  • 2 TBS Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 3 Pounds Stew Meat cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes
  • 4 Cups Stock (beef or Chicken Stock
  • 1 Bottle Strong Stout Beer (I used Boulevard Bully, Porter)
  • 1 Small Can Tomato Paste
  • 2 TBS Sugar
  • 2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 3 Pounds Russet Potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Pound Carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 2 Large Onions, cut into large dice
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • Several turns of a Pepper Grinder
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • Chopped Fresh parsley For Garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat 4 TBS Butter in bottom of a LARGE ceramic lined heavy Dutch Oven.
  2. Use a paper towel to dry the meat cubes. This helps them to brown evenly.
  3. Prepare a large gallon size ziplock bag with seasoned flour. Combine Flour, Garlic and Onion Powder and Cumin. Toss the Meat Cubes to coat.
  4. Brown each cube, all six sides in the butter. Do this in batches, do not over crowd the bottom or they will not brown evenly. Keep the brown bits that will accumulate in the bottom of the dutch oven (it is the flour cooking in the fat of the meat that will eventually combine, form a roux and thicken the gravy... it is good!)
  5. Remove all of the meat and add the bottle of beer. Scrape the bottom, mixing those brown bits with the beer, Continue scrapping until all of the burnt on bits are dissolved.
  6. Add the Stock and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Add Sugar, Worcestershire Sauce and Butter.
  7. Add the meat, Potatoes, Onions and Carrots. The broth needs to come about 1/2 way up the side. As the stew cooks, additional broth will form, eventually to (almost) cover the stew.
  8. Season with salt, Pepper and Red Pepper Flakes
  9. Cover and bring to a low simmer for 2 hours. Stir to mix, taste the broth, add additional seasonings as needed. Test the potatoes for doneness. If they are cooked through, the meat and carrots will be. Return to simmer if the potatoes are still hard. Check every 15 minutes until all is cooked through. Mine took 2 hours 45 minutes. It is important to low simmer the stew. This allows the meat to slow cook to tenderness. Meat will cut with a fork!
  10. Serve up in bowls with a thick slice of fresh made bread to sop up the gravy, garnish with parsley if you like.
  11. Serve HOT and ENJOY!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Recipes for Soup, Chili or Chowder" (Now more than 52 and still growing)

Soup from Scratch is one of the great kitchen joys.  The house smells amazing and the soup warms to the bone.  From broth to chowder, vegetarian to loaded up chili... Even a great idea for a party (love the Potato Soup Bar idea).  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!


So,  I am pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Cooking With BEER Recipes"!!!

Everyone knows about cooking with wine, but BEER has so much more complex flavors.  I imagine the day after beer was invented, someone made an Irish Stew. Cooking with beer infuses recipes with this intoxicating concoction of hops and barley in an effort to enhance and enrich everyday food..  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!


Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

No comments:

Post a Comment