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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan

EPIC BEEF STEW



This is one of those recipes that takes a bit of time to make but believe me if you persevere with this bad boy, you'll have the family talking about your famous Irish beef stew for eons to come.

I’ve added a twist to this traditional beef dish by using my Gaucho marinade as a seasoning, as it gives wonderful depth of flavour; and a generous dash of my Captain Kidd BBQ sauce brings all the flavours together perfectly. Now I must confess this is more of a cross between a soup and a stew, the different textures create an excellent mouthfeel and and at the same time it is hearty and delicious.


Don’t die wondering what this epic recipe tastes like. I recommend you roll up your sleeves and make your own beef stock, but if you really can’t find the time be sure to ask your local butcher. This recipe will keep for a week in the fridge and freezes excellently for up to six months when all you have to do is defrost then heat, and dinner is served in 10 minutes. I have to stress just how important it is to use well-marbled chuck steak, ideally from your local butcher, because if it's too lean the meat will be dry and not very pleasant at all.

Did you know? Though now considered a comfort food, stews were once a meal of necessity and the popularity of the dish grew out of social conditions that were anything but comfortable. Recipes based on the stewing method of cooking have been traced back as far as the days of the Roman Empire and Apicius de re Coquinaria, thought to be the oldest known cookbook in existence. Though the Romans had long outgrown it by then, stewing came to prominence in Ireland during the early 19th century, during a period of economic turmoil that led to mass poverty.

With only a hanging pot, an open fire and a few fairly easily attainable ingredients, even poor families were able to survive on Irish stew. Traditionally in Ireland stew was made with mutton. Having made the trip from South America to Europe as a staple food on sailors’ voyages, the potato was first brought to western Ireland in the 16th century, where it thrived and went on to become a major part of the diet particularly of the country’s poor. Mutton was so commonly used for stew because sheep were kept into old age for their wool and milk at the time, meaning the meat was so tough that subjecting it to slow, extended periods of stewing was one of the only ways to make it edible.


Luckily, in this day and age we get to chef up this recipe and totally transform the humble beginnings of the Irish stew.


PREP TIME: 15 mins

COOKING TIME: 2 1/4 hrs

SERVINGS: 4-6


INGREDIENTS

  • 600g well-marbled chuck beef, cut into 3cm chunks

  • 1 tsp salt, or more to taste

  • 2 tbsps olive oil

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 ltr beef stock or broth

  • 500ml water

  • 250ml Guinness extra stout (optional)

  • 250ml Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 2 tbsps tomato paste

  • 2 tbsps GAUCHO

  • 2 tbsps of CAPTAIN KIDD bbq sauce

  • 2 tbsps butter

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled, cut into 2cm bite size pieces

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 3 to 4 carrots, cut into 2cm pieces

  • 1 sprig of curly parsley

METHOD

  1. Brown the beef: Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt over the beef pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large 6-8 litre, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Pat dry the beef with paper towels and working in batches, add the beef (do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until well browned on one side; then use tongs to turn the pieces over and brown on another side. Once browned remove and reserve and repeat until all meat is cooked.

  2. Add garlic to pot and cook until fragrant, then add tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds, stir in GAUCHO and CAPTAIN KIDD for another 30 seconds. Add stock, water, Guinness, wine and browned beef. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, then cover and cook at a bare simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

  3. While the pot of meat and stock is simmering, melt the butter in another pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Sauté the onions and carrots until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew (in Step 2) has simmered for one hour.

  4. Add the onions, carrots, and the potatoes to the beef stew. Add one teaspoon of salt. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes.

  5. Transfer stew to serving bowls. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

TO SERVE


Garnish with parsley and serve with buttered toast and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or perhaps try an old Irish favourite and have a Guinness.


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