Beef Stew is a simple dish. You cook Beef and Vegetables in stock OR water until soft and season with Salt & Pepper. Guinness Beer is popularly used, and many people add Tomato Paste and Herbs. There are many different methods, and this is how I cook it. I have found it difficult to cook everything in my stew pot that is not very large, so I use a frying pan. Cook Bacon, Beef, then Onion and Garlic, all separately in a frying pan. It is super easy and anyone can cook this Stew.
1kg Beef for stewing *e.g. Casserole Beef, cut into chunky 4-5cm pieces
Salt & Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Plain Flour *optional, read ‘Method 1’
About 80g Bacon *cut into small pieces
Oil for cooking *I used Canola Oil
1 Onion *cut into small pieces
2 cloves Garlic *finely chopped
1 can (440ml) Guinness Beer
3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
2 Carrots *cut into chunky pieces
2 Celery Stalks *cut into chunky pieces
2 cups Beef Stock OR Stock of your choice *Note: I used 2 cups Water and 1 Stock Cube
1 Bay Leaf
2-3 sprigs Thyme
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sugar *optional, read ‘Method 8’
Mashed Potatoes to serve
- Cut Beef into chunky 4-5cm pieces, season with Salt and Black Pepper, and coat with Plain Flour. Prepare other ingredients. *Note: Flour coating will help to thicken the soup. You can omit it.
- Heat a small amount of Oil in a frying pan over medium high heat, cook Bacon pieces. When nicely browned, transfer Bacon pieces, but not with oil, into a pot that you use for stewing.
- Cook 1/2 Beef pieces, turning over occasionally, until browned. Transfer to the pot, add extra Oil to the pan, cook remaining 1/2 Beef pieces, and transfer to the pot.
- Lower the heat to medium, add a small amount of Oil if required, cook Onion for a few minutes, add Garlic, and stir. Add Guinness Beer, stir and scrape all the yummy stuff on the pan, then pour everything into the pot.
- Add Tomato Paste, Carrot and Celery, then add Beef Stock (OR Stock of your choice). Add extra Water if necessary, just enough to cover.
- Add Bay Leaf and Thyme, cover with a lid, and bring it to the boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove any unwanted scum on the surface, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1-2 hours OR until Beef is soft. *Note: Today I cooked 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and remove unwanted Fat and Oil on surface. Taste the soup and add extra Salt (probably you won’t need any) and Black Pepper to taste. A small amount of Sugar might improve the flavour. Simmer further 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- *Note: If you need to thicken the soup more, add a mixture of Corn Starch and Water (OR Flour and Water). You won’t need a lot. Make sure the mixture is smooth and thin.
- Serve with creamy Mashed Potatoes. *Note: I sprinkled with some fresh Thyme leaves.