No Spin Cycle today – I know, I know, I said it would be today. I seem to be full of Spin Cycle Fail this week; I keep starting to work on the darn thing and then one thing or another comes up. I’d say “tomorrow” but at this point, who knows?
Cooking seems to be going the same way. I did NOT get to make the early St. Patrick’s Day dinner this weekend – I ended up making it on, well, St. Patrick’s Day. And, alas, I didn’t make the Bacon and Cabbage Strudel, just the filling. But good heavens – the filling was good enough! Very, very tasty.
But it was the Guinness Braised Beef that was truly wonderful. I honestly did NOT expect it to be this good (I’m not a big beer drinker, although when I do drink it I prefer a stout). It was incredibly flavorful and we enjoyed it a great deal.
And as further proof of my distractions lately – only one picture, of the finished product.
You can probably substitute the fresh thyme with about a half teaspoon of dried, but if you can get your hands on some fresh (some lingered in my garden, believe it or not), you should use it.
Guinness Braised Beef
1 1/2 lbs. round or chuck steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
salt & pepper to taste
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 bay leaves
1 bottle Guinness (about 12 oz.)
1 cup beef stock (canned is okay, but use low-sodium)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 -3 sprigs Thyme
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Heat the oven to 450º F.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, oven-proof skillet with a lid or Dutch oven; add the bay leaves and briefly fry until they turn brown. Remove them and reserve.
Carefully dry the beef, and cook it until well browned. Don’t crowd it in the pan or it won’t brown properly – cook it in batches, adding a little oil to the pan, if necessary. Remove it to a plate and set aside.
Lower the heat and add the onions, cooking them until they begin to soften and turn a nice golden color. Add the carrots, stir to coat them and cook for another minute or two.
Return the beef to the pan. Sprinkle the flour gradually into the beef, stirring to coat the meat and vegetables. Set the skillet or Dutch oven in the oven, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove it to the stove top and stir well. Return the pan to the oven for another 5 minutes and, again, remove it to the stove top and stir. The flour should now be browned as well as the beef.
Lower the oven to 350º F.
Season the meat mixture with salt and pepper, and add the brown sugar, Guinness, beef stock, thyme sprigs and reserved bay leaves. Stir well, cover and return to the oven.
Cook until the meat is tender – about 1 1/2 hours – stirring every 30 minutes or so. Add the apple cider vinegar the last 30 minutes of cooking. Remove the bay leaves and stems from the thyme before serving.
Serve hot with mashed potatoes, noodles, or – as the original recipe suggested – dumplings.