Thursday, January 22, 2009

Irish Beef Stew

In the ongoing effort to clean out my freezer, I defrosted what (I hoped) was about a pound of beef stew meat. Perusing the interwebs, I found Elise's recipe for Irish Beef Stew, and decided to go with it.

I had to make a few changes to Elise's recipe - for starters, the grocery store didn't have single bottles of Guinness, and what the hell am I going to do with a 6-pack, so I replaced it with Newcastle. Which I guess makes this an English Beef Stew. I added mushrooms because beef and shrooms go well together, and I forgot the parsley and tomato paste. I also had to improvise a substitution for Worcestershire sauce, since mine smelled moldy-funky and had to be disposed of. A smashed up anchovy, a little soy sauce, a little cider vinegar, and a dollop of oyster sauce - I'm not sure if it even remotely approximated W-sauce, but it seemed to work in the dish.

After sauteing the veggies, I saw that I had all these delicious browned bits on the bottom of the saucepan, and couldn't bear the thought of all that happiness going down the drain. So I deglazed it with a little of the stew broth, and dumped it into the stew. Later, while simmering, I decided that the stew was more soupy than I wanted, so I ladled out a bunch of broth and reduced it, then added it back to the stew. Much better.

Copious amounts of black pepper, a little salt, and done. Delicious. Although if you make it, I recommend you don't forget the tomato paste and parsley like I did, it seemed to need that extra punch. Maybe tomorrow I'll pick up some of each and doctor up the leftovers. Can't hurt, and beef stew always tastes better the second day anyway.


Wandering Chopsticks said...

We're both in a beef stew mood. Must be the gloomy weather.

Vicki said...

Hey WC - Yup, I saw yours & bookmarked. I love gloomy weather, it makes good food.

nicmcc said...

I've been making soups lately & was considering beef stew. Like Guinness but Newcastle has always been a staple. A must try!

Vicki said...

Hi NicMcC - I think next time I'll try with Stone Smoked Porter, it may add something interesting!

Betts said...

You are a culinary queen. I love the didn't-have-this-so-used-that, and threw-in-this-and-that. I want some NOW.

BTW, I tagged you in a meme today. I'll still love you even if you don't do it.

Vicki said...

Hey Betts - I'm nowhere near culinary royalty, but I am the queen of improvisation :)