Barry Fitz’s Beef and Stout Stew
My friend Barry Fitz makes a mean beef and stout stew. It is ultimate comfort food and ideal to get us through all these terrible Winter storms. I asked him for the recipe and we had a trial run with him acting as judge of my cooking. It was smiles all round and there wasn’t as much as a chunk of carrot left afterwards.
It is a surprisingly easy recipe to follow and works really well as a family meal or for a dinner party. Just make sure you remember that it needs two and a half hours in the oven, or there will be lots of hungry faces around the dinner table. Serve it with lots of mashed potatoes to soak up the juices and plenty of red wine.
Barry Fitz’s Beef and Stout Stew. (Serves 4)
800g stewing beef (only Irish will do)
2 tbsp plain flour
150g smoked rashers cut up into small pieces.
2 medium sized white onions, diced.
1 bay leaf.
500-600g carrots peeled and cut into half inch chunks
1 500ml can of stout (in Cork we like to use Murphys, but Guinness is perfect too)
plenty of Simplee Herb Salt and Garlic Pepper.
2 tbsp dried herbs de provence or fresh herbs if you have them.
1tsp mustard (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees.
Sweat onions and bacon in a pan on a medium to high heat for about 5 minutes. The onions should be translucent and the bacon starting to crisp up. Transfer to casserole dish.
Dust the beef chunks with flour. The cleanest way to do this is to pop the beef and flour into a ziploc bac. Seal and shake.
Using the same pan, add the floured beef and bay leaf. Brown the meat all over. Strain off any fat (I use a colander or sieve for this) Add this to the casserole dish too. Twist in plenty of Simplee herb salt and garlic pepper. Pop the carrots and herbs on top and pour in the whole can of stout. Give everything a good stir and put into the oven for 2 and a half hours.
Check the stew after two hours and if you want the sauce to thicken up some more, add a teaspoon of mustard. If you want more liquid, add a good splash of hot water.
Serve with a gigantic bowl of mashed potatoes.