Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring beef stew braised in Guinness,with asparagus and peas and potatoes

This time of year we are all anxious for spring to arrive. It's right around the corner! In this trans formative time we are lucky to have asparagus at our finger tips.

With St. Pats here too I thought it befitting to create a whole celebratory meal around all things green.
First I will share this stew. On my blog I have my version of Irish soda bread,

and a green salad to brighten up any ones Ides of March!
Braising means cook in moist and dry heat.

This is one of the best ways to cook shoulder
because it is a flavorful cut but tenderizes when it is cooked this amount of time in liquid.
The method works well on top of the stove. You can derive the same results by adding the liquid, bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, cover and place the Dutch oven into a 350 degree oven for about the same amount of time. Just check the stew after 1/2 hour and stir. This way there is much less chance of scorching the stew when it is braised inside the oven. Proceed the same way when adding the vegetables.

Spring beef stew braised in Guinness with asparagus, peas and potatoes

1/3 cup of flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 lbs.  1"cubed shoulder of beef or lamb
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 yellow onions cubed
5 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 lbs. potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
2 - 12 oz.bottles of Guinness Stout
2 cups chicken or beef broth, or half and half
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut on the bias 2 1/2 inches long
1 10 oz package of frozen peas

 Season the flour with the salt and pepper and combine thoroughly on a plate. Toss the meat onto the plate, a few pieces at a time to coat, shake off any excess and place on a plate.  When you have dredged half of the meat heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a 4 quart Dutch oven. Sear half of the meat on all sides until golden brown. Remove the seared meat and reserve on a plate. Repeat with the remaining meat. Add all of the meat back to the pot. Add the onions, garlic, and thyme to the pot. Cook until the vegetables are golden brown, about 4-5 minutes.

Add the Guinness, and let it reduce by half,  then add the stock. Bring to a boil and cover. Lower the heat to a simmer and braise the stew for 1 hour -1 1/2 hours.The meat should be tender but not falling apart. The juices should be thickened. Add the potatoes and simmer for about 15 more minutes, covered, until the potatoes feel tender when pierced with a knife. Add the prepared asparagus and peas and cook uncovered for 3-5 minutes until the asparagus are tender and retain their bright green color. Remove the thyme sprigs.

Serve with my Irish Soda Bread and Watercress Salad.

Recipe, photos and writing by Karen Pickus 2012
Courtesy, karen Pickus 2012

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Made this dish today and it was absolutely terrific. The directions were perfect too. Many thanks!

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