Beef in Guinness with Herb Dumplings

Beef in Guinness final
Is everyone enjoying the last few days of March? I know I will be glad for this month to be over and hopefully get closer to real spring weather. It still has been bitter cold – though today it got a bit warmer and we are hoping for better temperatures to come – and stay! This complaint seems common across people within the states and Canada. The time, however, has been going by quickly as I am trying to get ahead on a few projects so when the warm weather arrives I can enjoy it! I have started to learn Zumba – in the past I never cared for aerobics but I must admit I really like Zumba! A lot of the music has a great beat and attitude. What has everyone been doing while they are waiting for spring to really arrive? Maybe having a Guinness?

Guinness

This was our St. Patrick’s Day stew made with Guinness providing a rich flavor. Last year I made Irish Guinness Stew. The stew meat I used for this dish is the same as other beef stew recipes; however, the meat was extremely tender. I am going to contribute that tenderness to the Guinness and I may need to use it more often when making beef stew! For the dumplings, I prefer to bake them since I like them crisper for that crunch factor. But you can drop them on top of the stew and cover to let them cook. Or place the meal into the oven to finish the dumplings. I like to make mine on the stovetop but you could also make this dinner in the oven.
Beef in Guinness in braising pan
Adapted from The Complete Irish Pub cookbook. Click here for the cookbook.

Stew
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 large sweet onions; thinly sliced
8 carrots; sliced (or more)
2 lb. stew meat, cut in cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 c Guinness
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme

Dumplings
1 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp margarine or butter
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
1/3 cup milk

Stew:
Divide the olive oil between a frying pan to brown the beef in a casserole or braising pan. Heat the oil in both pans adding the meat to the frying pan to brown adding any salt and pepper. Add the onions and carrots to the braising pan for the onions to caramelize. Just before adding the browned meat to the onions and carrots, blend in the flour, brown sugar, and thyme. Then add the meat, then Guinness beer and bay leaves. Simmer for a couple of hours.

Dumplings:
Mix the dry ingredients together and then slowly add the wet ingredients. You may need to add more flour or milk depending upon the consistency of the dumplings. Preheat oven to 375 and bake for about 25-minutes or you can drop into your beef stew and cook.

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