Guinness beef stew open thread

Usually there’s pie.

But this is not pie. This is Guinness beef stew.

What happened was that I thought, for a bit of variety, maybe we could go with shepherd’s pie.

The shepherd’s pie looked pretty good.

But then the same thing happened that happens every time I’m thinking that the shepherd’s pie looks pretty good. I always wind up going with the Guinness beef stew instead, because it looks even better.

Anyway, consider this a conflict-avoidance open thread.

"I don't recall my mom ever mentioning the earthquake, and I can't recall where she ..."

LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’
"What did you raise your fist to the sky and scream "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" about today?"

LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’
"Oh. It's not easy. That's for sure."

LBCF, No. 186: ‘Lone Gunmen’
"I support the current administration's policy with regard to this policy. Good governments do what ..."

Cruelty is central to Trump’s appeal

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Skraal2099


  • So Xcel sent me some brochure about their HomeSmart program, and it happened to have on its back a recipe for “To Die For Pot Roast”. I’ve now tried it out. It goes like this:

    Take some 3 to 4 pounds beef appropriate for pot roast (I let the grocery dude/tte figure that one out because I have no clue about beef cuts) and chuck it in a crock-pot.

    Coat that sucker with a mixture of three envelopes of powdered food bases: Ranch dressing, Italian dressing, and brown gravy. (I couldn’t find a dry mix of Italian dressing, so I went with French onion.)

    Pour in a half cup (4 ounces) of water or broth.

    Set the crock-pot to go on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, according to the recipe. I nibbled on it at the 7 hour mark (midnight), then I added another 1/2 cup water and let it go ’til morning (8:00 AM) at which point I threw in a bunch of carrots and potatoes. Around 10 AM I had a very tasty brunch.

    Tip: don’t scrape the bottoms or sides; that’s where the bitter burnt caramelized bits end up. Or maybe you like bitter burnt caramelized bits? I only like ’em if they’re not too bitter.

    It’s really salty because of those powders. I mean, even using Simply Organic rather than, say, Kraft, it was still very very salty. Have a big glass of milk, iced tea, water, Guinness, whatever.

  • I think that I would probably go for the shepherd’s pie if I were cooking it for myself. If someone was selling me a meal and the Guiness stew was on the menu I might well be persuaded. But when I do stew marinaded in alcohol for myself, the meat is venision and the marinade is red wine, beef stock and a dash each of Worcester sauce and oilve oil. The vegetables go into the marinade too (carrot peeled and sliced: onion peeled and halved.)

    Then next morning take the meat and onion out and drain them. Chop the onion up and start to fry in a pan with olive oil. The meat is popped into  a tupperware box with some seasoned flour and shaken to coat it. (Yes, put the  lid on first. Comedians…) Then brown the meat along with the onions, pop the whole lot back into the marinade and cook for about eight hours in  a slow cooker.

    Shepherd’s pie (and for that matter cottage pie which is the same thing but with minced beef instead of lamb) is improved by adding cheese to the mash topping, both when mashing and as a topping at the last moments of cooking.

    And the above is a large part of the reason my new jeans are rather tight after the Christmas period…

  • Halcyon

    I’m gonna go ahead and say that the only way to really avoid conflict here is if there is a followup post including a recipe.

  • muteKi

    Did someone say crock pot cooking? Because I just got a crock pot and am looking for good recipes for it.

    In any case, it’s being used right now to cook up some meat for enchiladas:

    4 pounds of chuck roast (the recipe says 2 lb. ground chuck can be used instead)
    4 cups of onions, chopped
    1 can (14.5 oz.) of diced tomatoes
    2 cans (4 oz. each) of green chiles
    2 tsp. cumin
    2 tsp. salt
    2 tsp. pepper

    We also added (not in the original recipe)
    1 tsp. Mexican oregano
    1 tsp. garlic powder (or a couple garlic cloves could be used instead; the lack of garlic in the recipe seemed nearly criminal)

    Sear the chuck roast — brown it on both sides in a pan (brown all the ground beef if substituting)
    Add everything into the slow cooker, and cook on high for about 5-6 hours.

    Best served inside warmed tortillas with cheese and enchilada sauce on top; we’re using canned sauce tonight but I know a place up in Albuquerque where I can get some sauce more fresh in bulk.

    The nice thing about this recipe this is based on says it serves 12-16, so there should be plenty for lunch tomorow.

  • Fred, are you psychic?  Cause I have a pretty serious issue that I’m avoiding ><

    Issue is:  Last 2 weeks I've had a painful knot under my right ribcage (as in below, not 'near the lungs' – think liver/gallbladder area)

    Now – in and of itself this isn't a shock – I've had gallbladder problems before and had it removed.  Easy, no worries.  I even have a reason to believe this may well be more gallstones.  By itself this is nothing to panic about.  Gallstones I've had, i can deal with them.

    However this has been there two weeks and while it feels like it's improving a bit every day now,  because it's well.. a lump… I'm thinking I should probably see a doctor.

    No problem there even – I have no insurance but my mom is willing to pay to get me in.

    Now comes the problem:

    What the hell do I do if they tell me it's something expensive to fix?  I mean I haven't got ANY money, and no insurance.  If it's something awful I don't think I can wait until 2014 when (depending on the elections) I may or may not be able to have health insurance at long last.

    I freely admit, logically it's better to know and then react accordingly but I'm kind of scared out of my wits here.  I mean, I know it's probably not, but what if it's cancer?  WTF could I even do about it?  I mean it's probably not, especially since my family is quite lucky (and long lived) on both sides.**  But still.

    Even if it's not THAT bad, I can't afford surgery or anything but cheap prescriptions really.  I mean I know my mom is willing to go to the mat for me if need be, but she's got her own issues right now including serious back problems that SHE needs surgery for.

    I apologize if I'm a little over-dramatic, I admit, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac too (and I know it, so I try to remind myself "It's probably not the worst possible thing, in fact it's probably not any of the ten less-awful things either.") – but… yeah.

    And on top of that I'm having issues with my psychiatrist ; and I have no idea how to explain it to him since he’s crazy nice.

    *bangs head on desk*

    This is why I hide out online – because RL is freaking stressful and I am not good at managing it ><

    *I'm not on disability for a lot of reasons; largely I'm afraid to apply because most people I've talked to it sounds like you have to FIGHT to get on it… if I were able to fight like that I'd be able to work.  <– not nearly as robust in RL as he is online.

    **There is only person in the entire family I'm aware of to have had cancer – and that's in spite of a lot of alcoholics and smokers on both sides.

  • Amaryllis

    Don’t forget the Irish soda bread to serve with the stew.

  • Anonymous

    Speaking of big-pot cooking, I tried making Yeto’s Superb Soup yesterday, and it is a-ma-zing. Definitely a soup to restore eight hearts a bottle. <3

    JJohnson, yikes. D: I hope you're able to get looked at soon!

    I just set myself up a dentist's appointment (for the first time in five years *cough*) and I am nervous about it. :(

  • Lori

    I’m sorry about the health issues and lack of insurance. I’ve been lucky not to have any major illnesses since I’ve been without insurance, but it’s worrying.

    FWIW (which may be nothing) if it was me and the lump wasn’t getting smaller I’d see the doctor. I think it’s better to know what you’re dealing with so that you can make a choice, even if that choice is to do nothing, rather than defaulting to doing nothing. 

    As for the issue with your psychiatrist, it’s your therapy. No matter how nice he is, if something isn’t working for you it needs to change. If he’s truly nice, or even just professional and committed to his job he wants things to work for you. Also, it’s almost certain that whatever the issue is he’s heard it before. You won’t shock him or freak him out. He’s the therapist, he has (or is supposed to have) the tools to deal with the things that come up in treatment. If he doesn’t have the tools keep in mind that your psychiatrist has a psychiatrist and that’s what s/he is for. 

  • Lori

     *I’m not on disability for a lot of reasons; largely I’m afraid to apply because most people I’ve talked to it sounds like you have to FIGHT to get on it… if I were able to fight like that I’d be able to work.  <– not nearly as robust in RL as he is online.  

    About this—it sounds to me like you need to apply for the disability. Do you have anyone IRL who can act as your coach/champion in the process? They don’t have to know anything about applying for disability, they just need to have basic organizational skills, an interest in your well-being and a reasonable degree of ability/willingness to go to bat for you if needed, even if they might not be willing/able to do it for themselves. 

    I throw in that last bit from personal experience. I know that this is difficult to believe, but I often have a very hard time standing up for myself in certain RL situations. I will throw down for someone else, no problem though. 

  • Kish

    This is certainly on-topic here, but just informationally…

    What Fred means by “conflict avoidance” is that he just posted a thread about abortion rights, and whenever he does that he also starts a non-controversial thread, generally about pie.

  • I don’t know a thing about cooking (well, except bacon and eggs and stuff) but I would like to recommend apple pie. Omnomnomnomnom.

  • cjmr

    You can make apple pie WITH bacon.  Especially good with ‘maple’ bacon.

  • Anyone have any experience with Seitan? I’m carbohydrate-restricted, and based on my experience so far, I’m thinking i might be able to cook some up with the right physical properties to substitute for a lasagne noodle.  So far, the closest I’ve come is “Sort of rubbery dumpling”

    However, I did have a great success tonight using balsamic vinegar in the place of marsala wine to make a sauce for chicken and mushrooms

  • Ahh, I’m not sure how I’ve missed that before.  Thanks, I appreciate it.

  • Thanks Lori.  This is one thing I hate about me – I hide rather than fix things.  I’m a wreck and have been for a long time and, I don’t know, something has to change and soon, even if this turns out to be nothing.  Sometimes I just need to hear what I already know is right from someone else before it ‘clicks’.

    Hopefully all will be well.

  • Lori

    I understand that better than you can possibly know. Good luck!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Nothing to do with stew or pie, but I just read a piece in today’s paper about the triumph of misinformation, in which misinformed opinions demand equal weight and respect to actual, you know, evidence. Something we’ve discussed here a lot in a variety of contexts, so thought I’d share:

  • Ursula L

    Did someone say stew?  

    I made a really good hard-cider beef stew the other day.  Recipe here: 

    This makes enough to feed two people well, and you could add some potato for the last half hour of cooking, if you like, although I’d rather have bread on the side. 

  • Hawker40

    I happen to love beef stew.  However, if the Guinness Beef Stew has actual Guinness (or any alchohol) I’ll have to pass.  (Diabetes sucks.  Pass it on.)

  • I love cooking with beer, but using Guinness in stuff always seemed like a waste of good Guinness I could drink. This stew has to be pretty good if I’m expected to give up a pint for it. 

  • Lori

     Did someone say crock pot cooking? Because I just got a crock pot and am looking for good recipes for it.  

    I made this crock pot dessert recently and it was tasty:

  • Anonymous

    To be honest, after I drank a variety of other stouts and porters I found Guinness to be pretty thin and tasteless. I don’t know about the stuff you’d get in a pub in Ireland, having never been there, but I don’t find the bottled stuff they sell here particularly enthralling. I only buy it for cooking or for large parties.

    If you’re looking for a new stout to try, I highly recommend Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout. For a porter, it’s hard to go wrong with Fullers. There are a large variety of other stouts I can recommend (especially from California, which has a very vibrant craft brewing scene), but those are very reliable standbys.

  • Anonymous

    I made shepherd’s pie tonight! Except that I guess it was rancher’s pie, because I used beef. 

  • Cissa

    I made a really nice guinness beef stew a couple of weeks ago. it also had prunes. It ended up tasting like… beef stew.

    The advantage of shepherd’s pie is that lamb is more flavorful than beef (if you like that flavor). Bonus: if what you ave is beef, but you have some lamb fat- most of the lamby flavor comes from the lamb fat, not the meat; I use that to advantage when i want to make moussaka but only have ground beef; I saute the onions etc. in rendered lamb fat.

    Pie made with a stew underneath but without lamb in the stew is “cottage pie”.

  • Anonymous

    But… what about the vegetarians? D:

    A good beef stew is one of those things where I will never, ever complain about the smell in the house. I might side-eye the dishes for a while, because I know neither sister nor dad nor housemate thinks about cross-contamination and washing things properly, but ye gods and little fishies do I love that smell. It’s such a weird comfort thing.

    (Bacon, on the other hand, can GDIAF. The only thing I never have to worry about is residue from unwashed dishes, because that disgusting layer of grease is visible a mile off.)

  • One of my two Crock-Pot dishes are this super-simple pot roast recipe I got somewhere — smear a tablespoon of horseradish on one side of the roast, stick it in the Crock-Pot horseradish-side down with some water and cook.  Halfway through,  smear some horseradish on the other side, flip it over, and cook some more.  About an hour before the end, throw in some veggies and cook until the veggies are done. Heat until about 160 degrees F.  Eat.

    The other is throw some chicken (I usually use about five or six drumsticks) in with 1/3 or a cup of smoke flavoring.  Cook on low for three hours.  Flip.  Cook on low another three hours.  Stick a meat thermometer in it until it reaches 165 degrees F.  Eat.

  • Julian Elson

    I look forward to seeing if your colleague Joanne Brokaw agrees that this is an uncontroversial post.

  • Anonymous

    Ask and you shall receive:,1637,159176-255199,00.html

    Disclaimer:  I have never tried this.  I hope to try it soon.

  • Tomkatsumi

    Never had Guinness stew (i’m vegetarian) but on a brewing/cooking related matter – next time you make your delicious cheese sauce for your tasty lasagne, or yummy macoroni cheese, try adding 1/2 or 1/4 teaspoon of scrumptious Marmite!

    You’ll thank me.

  • Dan Audy

    That really sucks JJohnson, I hope things go well for you.

    I have a similar bevy of problems but was lucky enough to be born in Canada.  Every time I think about the American healthcare system I imagine a million people in variations of your situation and I am amazed both at the misery it creates and the fact that the economy is still (vaguely) functional when the people who do all the hard work can’t actually take care of themselves and return to work if they get seriously injured or sick.

  • Yeah I’d love to tell you “Oh it’s not so bad down here” – but srsly it is.  That’s why in spite of it not going near far enough imo, I was really happy about the healthcare law.  I’m just scared that the 2012 elections will bring in enough tea partying jerkoffs that the law will be demolished before it goes into effect.*

    And I’m lucky compared to most – I have a parent who makes a reasonable mid level income and cares enough to put up with me.  Other people in my situation would be on the street by now, which pisses me off as much as it scares me.  I mean WTF?

    >< *sigh*  Hopefully we'll get this damn thing turned around though.  It's not for a lack of trying at any rate.  (And thank you, I really appreciate folks giving a crap)

    *I suspect the Republicans might well realize that simply repealing it would cause them grief with non-tea partiers… but modifying it to suck royally so they can blame Obama (in or out of office)?  Yeah I can see them doing that.

  • Lori

    I look forward to seeing if your colleague>Joanne Brokaw agrees that this is an uncontroversial post.  

    The link is broken. I’m assuming it’s about the evils of eating meat.   

  • hapax

    If you’re looking for a new stout to try, I highly recommend Samuel
    Smith’s Imperial Stout. For a porter, it’s hard to go wrong with

    You recommend the Imperial Stout (which is very good, though I prefer the Oatmeal) and then skip right over Taddy Porter, which makes Nin-Kasi weep with joy?

  • Anonymous

    Living with a roommate who couldn’t eat any meat (literally, it made hir sick) – even a tiny bit – was really good for learning to cook creatively. We’d often make something to share, and if I wanted meat I could cook up something to add in after it was served.

    For a vegetarian stew, I’ve had really good luck using root-veggie broth (garlic and onion, celeriac, carrot, parsnip) and then putting in all kinds of nice cruciferous things and beans, or even just a big bag of frozen veggies – the important part is the broth. If you get that right, it barely matters what’s in it.

    I’ve got to get my hands on some marmite eventually; I like salty and yeasty things, so I suspect it’s something I would like.

    (Edited because Disqus.)

  • FangsFirst

    And I’m lucky compared to most – I have a parent who makes a reasonable
    mid level income and cares enough to put up with me.  Other people in my
    situation would be on the street by now, which pisses me off as much as
    it scares me.  I mean WTF?

    Or tearing themselves up to pieces trying to survive in spite of it. I’ve known someone who did that. It’s not pretty. It’s the idea that people against that are in favour of: “bootstrapping” and all that, but, oh, man. It seems worse than people who accept their lives and are out on the street unable to make it all work. More and more psychological and health issues constantly compounded by trying to keep up with the pace of everyone who doesn’t have to contend with them. Constant downward spiral.
    Just kinda makes me angrier with people who say “get over it,” as I see someone who firmly believes they should be able to do just that, practically falling apart at the seams because it just. doesn’t. work that way.

  • Cathy W

    I like to have Guinness beef stew *and* pie. Simultaneously. With cheeeeeeeeeese, to boot. Thank you, Jamie Oliver.

  • I’ve been thinking about arguments on the Internet.

    Specifically, there’s a format I’ve come up with that I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere. It would involve two online groups or individuals with differences in belief tendencies (say, here and a conservative forum, or Paul Krugman and David Brooks) and a moderator. First, one side puts together a formal statement for which they can agree, “This statement is true.” It’s then submitted to the other side, and if they find the statement “acceptable” and agree, “This statement is false,” the debate can begin.

    The two sides take turns. The moderator works with each one in turn to develop one or more “acceptable” statements in each turn that argue for or against an earlier-defined point of contention. That is, they propose arguments and the moderator decides whether they work well with the format. (“So-and-so clearly has no idea what he’s talking about” wouldn’t work, but “So-and-so’s statement is invalidated by such-and-such” is.) A centralized record of every statement submitted in each turn is kept, with a “tree” structure — start with the root statement, arguments for or against are added as “children” and properly labeled, they in turn can have their own “children,” and so on. Say claims from one side are in blue text and from the other are red text. (If both sides say that some acceptable statement is true, it’s designated “common ground,” noted separately, and may be used by either side in their arguments. If A is agreed upon, you might claim “A implies B.”) You could also designate earlier statements from your side as “superceded” (not quite what you should’ve said and since replaced with a refined version) or “conceded” (and henceforth common ground), and so on.

    Thing is, I haven’t had a chance to bounce this idea off anyone to see if it could actually work, or how it would need refinement to put into practice. But if I do manage to put together a solid ruleset, I’d like to try it out.

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm… as a vegetarian I suppose this is a little controversial, but you know what?  That is a lovely enameled cast iron pot!

  • FangsFirst

    but you know what?  That is a lovely enameled cast iron pot!

    I like your approach!

  • Indiana Joe

    Mmmm… Beef stew…

     French beef stew (originally from the November 1986 issue of _Good Food_ magazine)  1 1/2 lbs stew beef, cut into 1″ cubes 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup vegetable oil 10 whole shallots, peeled 1/4 cup Cognac 1 cup dry red wine 2/3 cup chicken or beef broth 3 carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1″ pieces 3 tb heavy cream 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard  Pre-heat oven to 350F. Season the beef with the salt and pepper, then dredge with flour. Heat oil in dutch oven. Saute beef in batches over medium-high  heat until browned (about 5 minutes), and transfer to plate. Add shallots to  oil and saute, over medium heat, stirring often, until golden (about 5  minutes). Set aside with beef. Return heat to medium-high, add cognac to pan,  and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and broth, heat to boiling. and boil for  3 minutes. Stir in beef, shallots, and carrots, then bake covered for about  2 1/2* hours, or until beef is tender. Transfer beef, carrots, and shallots  to serving bowl. Add cream to cooking liquid, and reduce over high heat for  4 minutes. Stir in mustard, and adjust seasoning. pour sauce over beef and  stir to combine. Serve over hot buttered noodles or rice.*The original recipe called for the stew to be in the oven for 1 1/4 hours, but we decided the beef wasn’t tender enough.

  • Had my doctor’s appointment yesterday just wanted to let everyone know;  everything is OK!  It was just gallstones in the bile ducts.  That… is a huge relief.  The pain is also subsiding so that’s a plus.


  • Dan Audy


    Glad to hear that you are starting to feel better.  Not knowing the cause of health problems is an incredible burden because it leaves you unable to take any action.  At least knowing what is happening gives you a certain amount of control.