Let's yap about slowing down.
We are often in a hurry, but sometimes there is value in letting time do its thing. This recipe deserves the time, and frankly so do you. Take a few hours to pull on the reins of life and enjoy the process of making a really great stew. Time makes the beef in this stew so tender. Time melds the flavors so beautifully. Time thickens the broth. Time makes you appreciate it more.
Maybe someday I will try this recipe in the Instant Pot and add a speedier version, but I doubt it. It's not worth the risk of messing it up. It may get done faster that way, but a quicker version wouldn't save any time really. I can still put this together on a weekend afternoon and reboot the laundry in between steps. It's relaxing, meditative, and productive.
By all means, improvise and free-wheel if that's your style. But even if you don't like raisins, add them to the stew anyway. When they are finely chopped, they disappear into the recipe while providing a tiny bit of sweet balance to the savory. And they're good for you.
It is all really good for you.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 ½ pounds beef stew meat (or chuck roast or boneless, skinless chicken breasts) cut into 1" cubes
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 medium yellow onions chopped
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 4 cups beef broth (or chicken broth)
- 12-15 ounces Guinness Stout
- 1 ounce golden raisins (2 heaping tablespoons) finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds or fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound carrots peeled and sliced ½" thick
- 1 pound red potatoes cut into 1" cubes
- 4 tablespoons fresh italian flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch) chopped
- Sprinkle beef chunks with salt and flour. Toss to coat.
- Heat half the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add half the beef to pan and sear 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and beef.
- Add onion and remaining beef to pan. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.
- Stir in tomato paste. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and beer, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Stir in raisins, caraway seeds, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Add carrots and potatoes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer another hour, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Stir in parsley, reserving some for garnish.
- Ladle into bowls. One serving equals 12-16 ounces of stew.
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