Thursday, March 19, 2015

irish stout beef stew

Irish Stout Beef Stew 20140304 03

I read a comic the other day that said "Being 30 means waking up with an injury you didn't have when you went to bed." That is legit. I'm 31 and I can attest to this funny-because-it's-true sentiment. Don't get me wrong, I'm not falling apart at the seams and I don't by any means think I've got it bad. But I've got it...annoyingly 30...ish. (How long am I allowed to round down?)

Irish Stout Beef Stew 20140304 01

I woke up one day in January and part of my right foot was numb. Then a few days later my lower back started to hurt. The situation hasn't improved much since then, so I had my first ever chiropractor appointment this week to see if we could pop and crack my spine back to fully functioning form. But apparently that is estimated to take 14 visits, not just one. It's a good thing the doctor seems nice -- and, more importantly, knowlegable -- since I'll be seeing a lot more of him in the next six weeks.

Irish Stout Beef Stew 20140304 02

I'm not a big beef person, but when I saw the picture of Martha's beef stew on Pinterest, I was enticed. And when I realized I could use my Staub la cocotte, I was sold. (Best Dutch oven ever.) Anyway, even though beef doesn't usually amaze me, I'm pretty thrilled with this beef stew. The flavor is so satisfying -- it's just what you imagine good beef stew should be. I didn't end up with as much broth as I would have liked (or as Martha seems to have in her picture), so I'll use 1 fewer pound of beef next time. That change is reflected in the recipe below. I also substituted some of her peas for lima beans because I love them.

[Speaking of Pinterest, Dulcedo now has a Pinterest page. I'm finishing my site updating before I fully flesh out the Pinterest page, but you can check out my progress by clicking here.]

Irish Stout Beef Stew
Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
Serves 10

3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can (14.9 ounces) Irish stout beer (I used Guinness Extra Stout)
10 garlic cloves, sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 small box/bag (about 10 ounces) frozen baby peas
1 small box/bag (about 10 ounces) frozen lima beans*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a 7-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, toss beef with flour. Stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Transfer covered pot to oven and cook until meat is fork-tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Remove from oven and stir in frozen peas and lima beans. Cover until peas and lima beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. (As a precautionary measure, you can place the pot back on a burner during this step to be sure it doesn't cool off too much.) Season with salt and pepper.

* If you don't care for lima beans, you can just use double the amount of peas (as Martha does in the original recipe).

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