27 February 2005

Starless And Bible Black

Beef and Guinness Stew

What You'll Need:

~ Two Pounds Stewing Beef
~ 1/2 Pound Salt Reduced Bacon
~ 1 Pound Cooking Onions
~ 2 Pounds Carrots
~ 4 Cloves of Garlic
4 Pints of Guinness (~ 2 for the Stew, the rest for the cook, as this takes a rather long time, like, all day)
More Guinness to drink with the meal
Some water
A loaf of nice crusty bread
Some Flour
Some Black Pepper
Some Salt
Some Garlic Powder
2 Bay Leaves
Small Amount of Butter
Some Olive Oil
A Couple of Sprigs of Parsley

Preparation & Cooking:
  1. Peel and coarsely chop onions and carrots, put them into seperate bowls.
  2. Peel garlic cloves, set aside
  3. Prepare flour mixture to coat beef cubes: Pour flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix in garlic powder, salt & pepper - mix this around for a while. Set aside.
  4. Cut beef into slightly larger than bite-sized cubes.
  5. Toss beef into your flour-bowl, coat chunks with flour - just enough to cover, shaking off excess.
  6. Heat butter & oil in a *large* pan. Add in garlic, crushed, and bay leaf. Cook over low heat for a couple of minutes. Add onions. Cook until onions are clear and just very slightly browned around the edges. When cooked, put them back in the bowl
  7. Fry the bacon, when cooked, set aside on a plate, covered in paper towel to soak up excess fat.
  8. Add crushed garlic cloves and the other bay leaf to the fat. cook for about a minute. Brown beef in batches in the bacon fat. Remove to a plate or bowl, keep warm.
  9. If there's tonnes and tonnes of excess fat, pour some off.
  10. Deglaze the pan with a pint of Guinness.
  11. Throw everything in the pan, mix around a bit.
  12. Add water & more Guinness until everyhing is covered. Be careful with the Guinness to water ratio - too much (Guinness) will result in a bitter, unpleasant meal, too little and it'll be weak, and thus a waste. Guinness is the heart of the stew, practice makes the balance right. Bear this in mind.
  13. Stew, uncovered over low heat, stirring occaisonally until done: at least 3 hours। You want to bring it to a boil quickly for half a minute, then reduce over a very, very slow boil. Also, the sauce is meant to be ridiculously thick, when the cooking nears its end, stir frequently to avoid burning.
  14. Addendum - (March 2007) - adding liquid, beef flavoured BOVRIL made this the best thing that three people had eaten in a very long time.
  15. [The secret ingredient: a couple of small spoonfuls of Marmite]
  16. Add parsley as garnish
  17. Serve with slices of bread & more Guinness to drink with the meal
  18. Eat
  19. Clean Up
  20. Proceed to Port & Cigars
Feeds Four Hungry People

  • If you like, remove the bacon & just cook the beef in butter and olive oil mix.
  • The beef can be substituted for lamb, if you so desire.
  • Celery can be added to the stew.
  • I avoid potatoes in the stew itself due to the tendency of one chunk of one bad potato to ruin the whole deal. Potatoes make an excellent side for this dish.
  • I don't usually use precise measurements of time or ingredients, just whatever looks right. Any reasonably experienced cook should have no problem with this recipe, just think about how to do it, and it'll turn out great.
  • Cooking this in some kind of slow-cooker (crock pot) would be an excellent idea. (Addendum - March - suprisingly, this makes the stew very weak and un-delicious. Also, Joel & I had to cook the thing for 28 hours to get rid of all the liquid. DO NOT use this recipe for slow cookers)
  • Can be used as filling for a pie. This is insane, and unimaginably delicious. (Addendum - March 2007 - YES).

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