Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Irish Foods Week: Beef and Guinness Edition

Or, to be exact, Diva's Crock-pot Beef and Guinness!

Beef and Guinness is a classic Irish stew that usually contains chunks of beef stewed together with onions and carrots, sometimes mushrooms, and bottle of Guinness Stout. The Guinness acts as tenderizing agent, helping to break down the meat and lends a wonderful, malty flavor to the sauce.

In many recipes, the stewing liquid contains Guinness and Guinness alone. It will come as no surprise, I'm sure, that I've gilded the lily a bit here. I'm 1/4 Italian, so I'm culturally obligated to use some tomato paste. I combined it with some beef broth to bump up the flavor and I've switched up the meat a bit too. Translated literally, Diva's Beef and Guinness means: I'm too lazy to season and brown a bunch of stew meat ... so I've used a roast instead. Ok, so this is really a pot roast of sorts - but an Irish one at heart!

Diva's Crock-pot Beef and Guinness:
  • one 3 to 3 1/2 pound bottom round or rump roast, tied
  • scant 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Essence of Emeril seasoning blend
  • olive oil
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 large onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into rough chop
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into 2 inch sticks
  • 1 medium white turnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • bouquet garni made from: 1 stalk of celery (leaves included), 5 sprigs of fresh thyme, 4 sprigs fresh parsley. Mash together and tied securely with some kitchen twine
  • 1 bay leaf (I used dried)
  • one 12 ounce bottle of Guinness Stout
  • 3/4 cup of beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 two inch pieces of orange peel from a fresh orange
1. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and Emeril's Essence on a large plate. Mix together with a fork. Roll the bottom round roast around in the flour to coat, patting so the mixture will adhere, and shake off the excess.

2. Heat a large cast iron pan over high heat and slick the bottom of it with some olive oil to coat. When it is hot, but not smoking, add the roast and brown quickly on all sides. Remove from pan.

3. Place the chopped leeks in the bottom of a large oval crock-pot and place the roast atop the leeks. Scatter the sliced onions, chopped carrots, parsnips and turnips around the meat in alternating layers. Scatter the garlic over the vegetables and nestle the bouquet garni into the veggies. Add the bay leaf and pour the entire bottle of Guinness Stout over the meat and vegetables.

4. Mix 3/4 of a cup of beef broth or stock with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, whisking well to combine, and pour over the meat and vegetables. Tuck the strips of orange peel into the mix somewhere, cover and cook on low until the meat is fork tender, about 8 to 9 hours.

5. Remove the roasts and slice for serving. Remove the bouquet garni, orange peel and bay leaf from the crock-pot and discard. Serve the sliced meat along with the veggies, topped off with the luscious sauce. If desired, you may garnish with some chopped fresh parsley or a sprig of thyme. Enjoy!

As written, this recipe will serve 6.

Please don't be put off by the long list of ingredients here. A few minutes of chopping and browning and your crock-pot will do the rest. Its ridiculously easy and ridiculously delicious. The broth is so flavorful, the carrots a revelation - in fact, they might be my favorite part - and the meat is so tender it will literally fall apart.

So much so that it was hard to get a picture of it. I had visions of thick, even slices ... what I got instead was shreds. Richly flavored shreds to be sure, and you can't beat the flavor of the veggies that have been simmering in that beer based broth all day.

Lastly, please note that because this is cooked in a crock-pot, it yields a thin, brothy sauce. Its so yummy you could drink it with a spoon - but if you're looking for a thicker, gravy-like consistency, you'll need to thicken it with a roux. Do as you see fit. I hope you'll try it!

Come back tomorrow for another Irish classic.

Bon appetite!


Daily Spud said...

Lovely stuff, Diva. I'll be linking to your entire week of Irish foods for the parade - just so you know!

Veriance said...

this looks delicious! definitely adding it to my "must cook" list.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Aw, thanks, Spud! You are so sweet! Just FYI ... its going to be a short week ... I'm heading out of town on Friday. LOL

Veri - thank you! It was yummy and the husband really, really liked it. Good for a cooler evening and a quick fix with the crock-pot.

aoife mc said...

Man, I love Beef & Guinness Stew. And your boxty down below looks only gorgeous!

Mary Bergfeld said...

I think the diva knows exactly what she is doing :-). This looks and sounds delicious. I have a Belgian recipe that is very similar but probably milder in taste than yours. Have a great day.

Tory said...

Wow, this looks great! I've been looking for an Irish dish to make for St. Patty's day. Thanks Diva!

Laura said...

You know I really love crock pot cooking. Throw it all in and walk away. I hate it when it's cooked to death though, yours looks great!

Do you leave the city every weekend? curious...

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

Oh, I love beef stew with a hint of orange. And when done in a crockpot? Even better. I bet the smell drove you nuts!

Julie said...

Looks like a stew I'd love to dive into!

Tangled Noodle said...

I love how very true you are to your self - a bit of Italian here, a slight shortcut there . . . The end result looks like a divinely flavorful meal. I love the orange peel! I have to try that. 8-)

Katherine Roberts Aucoin said...

Your stew looks and sounds wonderful. I think adding the Guiness may give me a little irish luck ;-)