Thursday, April 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Double Tap Irish Stew with Guinness

There are so many Irish Stew recipes on the Internet and in my cookbooks!  I looked at a lot of them to draw inspiration, but I did not follow any of them specifically when writing my recipe. The basic recipe was my own stew recipe that I have used for years. 

Both of my children drink coffee and they enjoy beer. Their mother, on the other hand, has never enjoyed either. Needless to say, I was a tad apprehensive when the Lock-n-Load Java challenge was announced. I immediately called my son and informed him he would have to be my “taster”. When I started thinking about what to cook, St. Patrick’s Day was on my mind because it was coming up in a few weeks. I also love stew, so I said to myself, “why not a good Irish Stew?”  I have cooked with beer before, but never Guinness. Combining
both the Lock-n-Load Double Tap Special Reserve coffee and Guinness beer was either going to be a great idea or a major fail.  One of the first things that I did was make a brown gravy. I added both the Guinness and the Double Tap Special Reserve coffee. I was extremely surprised at the rich flavor and beautiful color the coffee gave my gravy. Combining it with the Guinness made it even more amazing. I will definitely make this stew again and again!  Lock-n-Load Double Tap Special Reserve coffee will now be a staple in my pantry!

P.S. My son loved the stew, as did my mother and my husband. It makes a lot, so share!

Slow Cooker Double Tap Irish Stew with Guinness
by Linda Mire

For the Stew:
2 pounds of your favorite beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound small carrots, cut into bite-size round pieces
6 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
4 medium red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
1 white onion, cut into bite-size pieces
2 large parsnip, cut into bite-size pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 bay leaves
Chopped parsley, for garnish

For the Gravy:
¼ cup olive oil  
½ cup flour
1 cup brewed Lock-n-Load Java Double Tap Special Reserve coffee
1 cup extra stout Guinness 
2 cups beef broth 
1/2 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Cajun Seasoning  

For the Slurry:   
(To thicken the stew at the end of cooking)
4 Tablespoons corn starch
1 cup brewed Lock-n-Load Java Double Tap Special Reserve coffee (needs to be hot)

Make the Stew:
1.   Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.
2.   Add the meat and saute until brown on all sides.  
3.   Remove the beef onto a plate.  
4.   Leave the drippings in the skillet to use when you make the gravy.
5.   Place the beef on the bottom of a slow cooker.  (I used 5.5 quart Rival Slow Cooker)
6.   Add all the vegetables, minced garlic and the bay leaves.
7.   Sprinkle the vegetables with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
8.   Make the gravy (see below)
9.   Pour the gravy over the mixture.
10. Cook on high for 2 hours and reduce to low for 4-5 additional hours.

Note:  Your slow cooker will be full. Within the first 2 hours, it will start cooking down and you should have plenty of liquid.  If you feel you need a little more liquid, add a little more beef broth.  

Make the Gravy:
1.  Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
2.  Make a dark roux, by adding the flour and stirring constantly over low-medium heat until the flour is dark brown, but NOT burnt. If the pan begins to smoke, take it off the heat for a minute, keep stirring. Turn the heat down, return the pan to the heat and continue to stir.
3. When the flour is dark brown, turn the heat down to low. Add the coffee, Guinness and beef broth in a slow stream. Make sure you add the liquids slowly!  You don’t want lumps and you want the liquid and flour mixed well. The gravy should be slightly thick.  (You will thicken it with a slurry shortly before serving, so don’t worry if it does not appear thick enough).
4. Add the Slap Ya Mama, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper.  
5. Stir and simmer over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes.  

Make the Slurry:
(to thicken stew)
After your stew has cooked in slow cooker all day and about 30 minutes prior to serving:
1.  Whisk the corn starch, 1 tablespoon at a time, into hot coffee.
2.  Pour the mixture into the stew.  Stir well.
3.  Taste and adjust seasonings (garlic powder, salt, pepper or Slap Ya Mama).
4.  Cook for 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

To Serve:
1.  This can be served over rice or noodles.  I cooked a package of noodles according to the package directions. I tossed them in butter and seasoned with salt and pepper.
2.  I covered a platter with my noodles, then poured 4-5 cups of the stew across the middle of the noodles.
3.  I then sprinkled the chopped parsley over the top.


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