Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

Beef and Guinness stew for a horrible autumn day

on September 10, 2011

Somehow the weather knew the seasons were changing – and just like that – on 31st August, the weather turned very autumnal. Not even like warm and nice September autumnal – horrible windy and rainy October autumnal. So something warming and comforting was needed. And hubby’s potatoes were ready to be harvested from the garden, so we needed something we could eat with them. So stew it was.

The thing with stew or casserole is, it can’t be rushed. For it to really taste nice, and to have the meat all tender and infused with flavour, you have to take your time cooking it. So it’s not a quick midweek thing. But it’s a lovely weekend thing. Or, do as I did – I made it on the weekend and reheated it for a weekday evening. And it’s worth the effort. I must say, I rarely make stews for exactly this reason, but I do love it when I actually get round to it.

I wanted to make the Hairy Bikers beef stew but it’s too involved and I didn’t have the patience, so I found this one on the BBC good food site instead http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/13349/beef-and-stout-stew-with-carrots

And it was delicious. I didn’t alter the recipe at all really, except I served with new potatoes instead of mash. Definitely something for a horrible cold, rainy and windy evening in front of the telly. One thing though – I thought the amount of beef used was a bit excessive, and also, I only had 400g. So I used that and it made about 3-4 portions. Which is about right, when you think a portion should contain 100g of meat.

So, with my quantities, this is about 379 calories per serving (at 3 generous servings, less if you make it for 4) plus the potatoes – but there’s only 75 calories per 100g of potato, so it’s a very low calorie, diet friendly dinner. Or not – it’s certainly not made as something boring and dieting. It does not taste like cardboard. And it’s got the hubby seal of approval too.

Beef and Guinness Stew

Serves 3-4

  • 1 small knob of butter
  • 400g stewing beef (beef chuck, diced beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped into chunks
  • 4 carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 can Guinness (mine was 400ml)
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt & pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. In a flame-proof casserole dish or a large saucepan, heat the butter until bubbling. Add the beef and brown off well.
  3. Remove the beef from the pan (I put it in the casserole dish as I used a saucepan) and add the onions and carrots. Fry until softened.
  4. Then add the Guinness, bay leaves, thyme and crumble in the stock cube. Stir well, bring to a simmer, and season with salt and pepper
  5. Either add the beef to the mix or pour the mix over the beef in the casserole dish. Mix well to combine. Put the lid on the casserole dish and put in the middle of the oven.
  6. Cook for a good 3 hours. Longer will not do it any harm.
  7. Serve with mashed potato, or new potatoes, or even a jacket potato (or rice, or chips or whatever!).
  8. Enjoy the warming comfort.
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