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Stout Braised Beef Stew

What could be better than a succulent beef stew with a hint of stout beer?

Hint: There are two tricks for a tender stew. First, buy meat with generous marbling (tiny bits of fat between the muscle fibres). Second, cook it over low heat for several hours.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil

2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes, patted dry, and seasoned well with salt and pepper

2 cups chopped red onion

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

12 ounces stout beer

2 cups beef stock

4 parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3-inch pieces

4 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3-inch pieces

2 sprigs thyme

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Set a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil and heat to smoking point.
  • Working in batches, brown beef cubes on all sides. Transfer cooked beef to a plate and keep warm.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, add onions and brown sugar and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  • Increase heat to medium-high, add butter and, once melted, sprinkle in flour and cook until flour has been incorporated, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Stir in stout and stock add, using a wooden spoon, scrape up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Add back in reserved beef and any accumulated juices and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce temperature to medium-low, add parsnips, carrots, thyme and bay leaves, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover pot and continue to simmer stew until cooking liquid is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15 minutes more.
  • Let stew rest off the heat for 5 minutes, then remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.