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Irish Beef and Guinness Stew with Dumplings: A Hearty Irish Classic

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Irish Beef and Guinness Stew with Dumplings is a beloved dish that embodies the heartiness and comfort of Irish cuisine. This recipe combines tender beef, hearty vegetables, and a rich Guinness-infused broth, topped with fluffy dumplings that soak up all the savory flavors. Perfect for cold winter nights or as a centerpiece for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, this stew is sure to warm both body and soul with its robust flavors and satisfying textures. Let’s dive into how to make this delicious dish that pays homage to Ireland’s culinary heritage.

Ingredients:

For the Beef Stew:

  • 2 lbs stewing beef (such as chuck), cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bottle (330 ml) Guinness stout
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions:

1. Prepare the Beef Stew:

  • In a large bowl, toss the stewing beef with flour, salt, and freshly ground black pepper until evenly coated.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the beef in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pot. Transfer the browned beef to a plate and set aside.

2. Sauté the Vegetables:

  • In the same pot, add the chopped onions and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic, diced carrots, parsnips, and celery. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Deglaze and Simmer:

  • Stir in the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, cooking for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Pour in the beef broth and Guinness stout, scraping the bottom of the pot to release any browned bits (this adds depth of flavor).
  • Add the bay leaves, dried thyme, and dried rosemary.
  • Return the browned beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Bring the stew to a boil.

4. Simmer the Stew:

  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer gently for 2 to 2.5 hours, or until the beef is tender and the flavors have melded together. Stir occasionally.

5. Prepare the Dumplings:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the self-rising flour, salt, dried thyme, and dried parsley.
  • Rub in the chilled diced butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Gradually add the milk, stirring with a fork until a soft dough forms.

6. Add Dumplings to the Stew:

  • Once the stew has simmered and the beef is tender, drop spoonfuls of the dumpling dough on top of the stew.
  • Cover the pot again and simmer for an additional 20 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and fluffy.

7. Serve:

  • Remove the bay leaves from the stew.
  • Ladle the Irish Beef and Guinness Stew with Dumplings into serving bowls.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Serve hot and enjoy with crusty bread or Irish soda bread on the side.

Tips for Success:

  • Choosing Beef: Use well-marbled stewing beef, such as chuck, for tender results after slow cooking.
  • Flavor Enhancement: The Guinness stout adds depth and richness to the stew; opt for the original stout for authentic flavor.
  • Dumpling Consistency: Handle the dumpling dough gently to ensure light and fluffy dumplings. Avoid overmixing the dough.
  • Stew Thickness: Adjust the thickness of the stew by simmering uncovered for the last 10-15 minutes if a thicker consistency is desired.

Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: Substitute the beef with mushrooms and root vegetables like potatoes and turnips for a hearty vegetarian stew.
  • Herb Variations: Experiment with fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage for different flavor profiles in the stew and dumplings.
  • Beer Substitution: Replace Guinness stout with another stout or dark beer for variation in flavor.

Conclusion:

Irish Beef and Guinness Stew with Dumplings is a comforting and hearty dish that embodies the warmth of Irish hospitality and culinary tradition. With its tender beef, hearty vegetables, and fluffy dumplings, this stew is perfect for bringing family and friends together around the table. Celebrate the rich flavors of Ireland with this delicious recipe and savor the robust flavors of beef simmered in a Guinness-infused broth, topped with savory dumplings that melt in your mouth. Whether enjoyed on a chilly evening or as part of a festive gathering, this dish promises to be a favorite for all who taste it.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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