When the weather looks like this (which it has for the last week):

Then, you need something hearty that “sticks to your ribs.”  Something that warms you and fills you and makes you feel all cozy again.  I know I’ve been cooking a lot of vegetarian food lately, so I thought I’d splurge and go full-metal carnivore with red meat!  The nice thing about this recipe is that it makes a gorgeous, thick, velvety stew that you can either serve with toasted sourdough bread or mashed potatoes or you can use it as a filling in a pie. 

Steak and Guinness Stew

  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs stewing beef, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • flour
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, trimmed and diced
  • 4 ribs celery, trimmed and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 can Guinness
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes

Put a couple of handfuls of flour on a plate and season with the salt and pepper.  In a large, wide pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Dredge the meat in the flour and brown in batches, then set each batch aside.  When the meat is finished, add the onions, celery, carrots and partsnips to the pot and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook for 10 minutes or so until tender, then add the meat and juices back to the pot.  Pour in the tomatoes and Guinness and add the bouquet garni, then raise the heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce and simmer for an 90 minutes to 2 hours and the meat will be spoon-tender.

If you want to make this into a pie, line a deep pie or shallow casserole dish with puff pastry and blind bake according to directions.  Fill with the stew, then top with a layer of puff pastry that well-overlaps the sides (that’s what makes a pie so great – lots of yummy, yummy crust!)