This beer-braised stew is even better the second day, so it’s a great make-ahead dish for a St. Paddy’s Day party. Although beef is used in this recipe, for a traditional Irish stew, use lamb.
1 large onion, sliced
2 TBS canola oil
2 1/2 lbs boneless beef chuck or lamb shoulder, cut into cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, pushed through a garlic press
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bottle Guinness beer
1 TBS Dijon mustard
In a Dutch oven, in hot oil, sauté the onions until translucent and tender. Add the beef or lamb and brown on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, thyme, oregano, Guinness and mustard. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender, adding a bit more Guinness or water if needed. Remove bay leaf. Serve in shallow soup bowls over mashed potatoes or noodles.
Gary: The richness of the Guinness and the lamb calls for a rich, round red wine with plenty of flavor and mellow tannins. Syrah/Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec are all fine choices. Dolcetto would be a fine call, as would a plump and plummy Garnacha/Grenache or Monastrell. Older wines are also fine with this dish, and their richness and nuances would be enhanced by it.