Sunday, December 5, 2010

Irish Guinness Stew

Now, why you ask when I usually do a stamping stuff would I have a stew on my blog?  Well, if you notice, I love to cook and bake too (If someone would clean up after me I'd be the happiest person on earth to do that all day).  Anyway, I thought this would be good to share since we are all so busy this time of year.  It's a crockpot recipe that you can let cook all day while you craft the day away smelling the delishishness of this stew.

First, you need stew meat, bacon and a bottle of Guinness.  I have only used Guinness, a stout Irish beer.  It's very dark.  I don't know what other ones have the same flavor as I'm not usually a dark beer person but buy a six pack, it's that good!

Cook your bacon in a large pan.  Feel free to cut in in more manageable size as your going to crumble it anyway.

 Make sure it's nice and crisp.  I use about 7 slices of thick bacon.  You can do more if you want...go ahead you might want some.  Save that bacon grease in the pan unless there is a lot, you need about 4 tablespoons.
 Then get your stew meat.  You can either buy it or cut up some round steak into bite size pieces.  I check to see what's cheaper when I'm getting it.

Now you can braise it (fry it in the pan to sear in the flavor and juices) in the bacon grease.
You can omit this step if you want to save time but if you already cooked the bacon, why not?  Don't overcrowd it, you might need to do a couple pans of beef.

 Next cut up your veggies.  Now what you use is up to you and how big you cut is a big debate in my family.  I used to make them a lot bigger, then my nephew complained that he wanted bit size.  Whatever.  I use potatoes, carrots (the mini cut carrots are so handy, no cutting) onion, and a rutabaga (known as Swede in England...what do they call a person from Sweden there?) See the picture, they come in a waxy coating.
Peel that coating off with a sharp knife and cut up that wonderful goodness.  Now, my hubby and son don't know I even put this in they must think they are a different kind of potato as they are a little yellow cooked but a much better veggie for you.  YUM.  Try one, they're great.  You can add celery or cabbage too but I'd have a revolt from my men.

 Start putting the meat and veggies in your slow cooker.   Have that Guiness ready.

 Press in a couple cloves of garlic, add a couple teaspoons of Kosher salt (more flavor), 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper, 2 T. Worcestershire sauce, throw in a bay leaf and 2 t. Paprika .  Don't forget the crumbled bacon.

YUMMY.  Oh and notice the liner?  Whoever invented these crockpot liners should receive a Nobel Peace Prize.  I mean it sure saves lots of fights as to who will clean that mess out of there!

Then pour in the beer.   Look at that lovely foam.  YUM.  Let it cook and go stamp or shop or wrap presents.  You can smell that goodness.  I cook it on low for about 7 hours.  It was done before that but we weren't ready to eat and I was so excited to eat I forgot to take a finished picture.  Trust me, it's heaven.

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