Irish Beef Stew

Serves 6. Prep time: 25 minutes active; 1 1/2-2 hours total.
Ingredients: 

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, 1-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups beef stock
1 cup Guinness stout or 1 cup beef stock and 1 teaspoon of molasses
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 large bay leaf
3 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes, cut in 1½-inch chunks
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preparation: 

Place the beef in a large bowl, add the salt and pepper, and toss to mix. Get another bowl for the seared beef. Place a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and let it get hot for a minute, then drizzle in one tablespoon of the oil. Place half of the beef over the bottom of the pan and sear for about a minute before turning the pieces. When there are browned spots on the outside of the beef cubes, transfer to the clean bowl. Drizzle the second tablespoon of oil into the pot and brown the second half of the beef. Transfer to the bowl with the rest of the seared beef.

Drizzle the third tablespoon of oil into the pot, add the onions and carrots, and stir and scrape to get all the browned bits into the mixture. Stir for a few minutes, then add the garlic and stir for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the stout (or stock and molasses substitute) and thyme, bay leaf, potatoes and the reserved beef. Bring to a boil and quickly reduce to low, adjusting the heat so the mixture barely bubbles. Cover the pot and cook for 1-1½ hours.

Uncover and test a potato by piercing with a paring knife — it should be tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Stir in parsley and serve hot.

Serving Suggestion:
There’s not much else you need to go with this hearty stew — just some crusty bread or Irish soda bread and a fresh green salad.