Friday, April 20, 2018

Irish-Style Beef & Guinness Stew with Pearled Barley

I made this for St. Paddy's Day last month and just got around to posting it. The recipe is an amalgam of several I found in my cookbook collection and online. All the recipes I perused called for the addition of the iconically Irish Guinness stout beer, but not all included pearled barley. Since I happen to LOOOOOVE pearled barley (a ridiculously under-used and under-appreciated ingredient IMHO), I just had to use it in this version. Parsnip is not requisite, but one large root, along with its cousin the carrot, add a nice subtle sweetness to this dish. 



Ingredients:
6 slices bacon, diced
4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1" cubes
1/2 cup flour
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large parsnip, diced
4 large carrots, diced
5 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes or 4 large russet potatoes, diced
3 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh (or 1 tsp. dried) thyme
2-3 sprigs fresh Italian or flat leaf parsley
11-oz. bottle of Guinness Stout beer
2 cups water
4 cups regular or low sodium beef broth
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup pearled barley
1/2 cup frozen green peas

1. Add 1 tbsp. vegetable oil to a large Dutch oven or heavy pot and heat over medium heat. Add the diced bacon and cook until most of the fat has rendered. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

2. Season the beef cubes well with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Add to the rendered bacon fat in the pot and brown in batches (add more vegetable oil, as needed). Remove browned beef with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

3. Add the chopped onions to the same pot and cook over medium low heat, covered, until softened and browned, about 10 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium high, add the garlic, parsnip, carrots, and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add the Guinness Stout and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, reserved bacon bits, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 2 hours or until beef is really tender. Check occasionally and add a little extra water if needed.

5. 1 1/2 hours into the cooking time, stir in the pearled barley. About 5 minutes before the beef is done, stir in the frozen peas. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve.


Diced carrots, parsnip, potatoes, celery, chopped onion and garlic. If using Yukon Gold potatoes, you can leave the skin on. If using russets, you need to peel the skin. 


Beef chuck roast. 


Beef chuck cut into large cubes and diced bacon. 


Tomato paste, Guinness Stout beer, beef stock and Worcestershire Sauce. 


Blot the beef dry with paper towels and season well with kosher salt and pepper. 


Dredge the seasoned beef lightly in flour. 


Render the fat from the diced bacon then remove the bits with a slotted spoon to a 
paper towel-lined plated; set aside.  


Brown the beef in the rendered bacon fat (add a little extra vegetable oil if needed) in batches. 


Remove the browned beef to a plate and set aside. 


Brown the chopped onions in the same pan over medium low heat, covered.  


Stir in the potatoes, carrots, parsnip, and garlic.  


Add the Guinness Stout and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring well. 

 Add the tomato paste, beef broth, water, Worcestershire sauce, reserved bacon bits, 
bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and 
cook for about 2 hours or until beef is really tender.

1 1/2 hours into cooking, add the pearl barley; cover and continue simmering 
until the beef is very tender.  


About 5 minutes before the stew is done, stir in the green peas.

 Taste and season with salt and/or pepper as needed.








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