Whisky And Stout Beef Stew Recipe


By Richard Thomas

This winter warmer is adapted from the standard beef stew recipe I learned from my Mom. Taking the notion of the Guinness stews I so often see on pub menus as an inspiration, my experiment yielded a stew with a strong malty flavor profile, enhancing the slow-cooked beef and root vegetables.

1 lb of roast or stew beef
2 or 3 medium-sized potatoes4 or 5 medium-sized carrots
1 medium-sized yellow onion
2 medium-sized tomatoes (or one 15 oz can of chopped tomatoes)
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup of tomato sauce
1 cup of beef stock
1 cup of stout
1 1/2 shots of whisky
2 bay leaves
Frozen peas
Olive oil

Peel the carrots, potatoes, garlic, and onion, cut the ends off the carrots, and core the tomatoes. Chop the vegetables, and cut the beef into bite-sized cubes.

Put the vegetables and garlic into a pot, add a spoonful of olive oil, and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. Cook and soften the vegetables until the onions turn translucent, then add the beef. Once the beef is browned, add a few spoons worth of flour. Stir the pot, and continue adding flour until you have coated the beef and vegetables.

Add the cup of beer, stock and tomato sauce to the pot, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the bay leaves, and leave the pot on a low simmer for one hour. Turn the heat off, pour in the whisky and add a handful of frozen peas, stir, and then let the pot sit covered for 15 minutes before serving.

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  1. Brown about 2 pounds of bite size chunks of meat in pan in a mix or butter and olive oil, seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, then throwing a generous serving spoon of flour on to coat the meat only after it is well browned. Add 2 or 3 potatoes, 6 carrots, and one onion all cut in large bite size chunks, 1 small can tomato sauce, 1/2 the can of red wine, a dash of red pepper flakes or a smidge of cayenne, and enough water to almost cover the ingredients. You can put in a couple of garlic cloves if you want. Stir it up and cook on top of the stove until the flour thickens the gravy, add salt and pepper to taste. If the gravy is too thick, add water. If too thin, mix a smooth slurry in a cup of a tablespoon of flour with a tablespoon of water, stir into the pot and thicken again. Cover and bake in a slow oven at 300 degrees 3 hours, or at 350 for 90 minutes.

  2. Chicken Tikka Bourbon

    Brown about 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs cut in large chunks in butter and oil. Add 2 tablespoons flour and 1 teaspoon each garam masala, Colman’s dry mustard, salt, sugar (brown if available), paprika, plus 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, to toss and coat the chicken. Add 1 medium can of either tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, or tomato purée. To make this with bourbon, add 1/4th cup at this stage. Add thumb size piece of grated fresh ginger, one small minced MILD chili pepper such as jalapeño (don’t overdo it), and 2 cloves of garlic minced. Optional: one small chopped apple. Add a cup of chicken stock and being to a bubble to start thickening the sauce, adding more chicken stock as needed for a medium consistency gravy. Add a small package of frozen peas, cover the pot and simmer on low for 40 minutes. Then let sit for as long as you have, even better overnight in the fridge, because the longer the flavors develop the better. When ready to serve, boil some white rice with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric for yellow color. Reheat the chicken, adjust the thickness of the gravy with water, adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Lastly stir in about 1/4 cup of cream, or about 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt or sour cream, till it turns a lovely color, warm through and serve over rice.

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