Donal Skehan's autumn favourite: Beef & Guinness Stew
This warm and hearty stew is the perfect comfort food coming into autumn.
Beef and Guinness stew is a perfect family dish, especially when the seasons are changing and the kids are heading back to school. You can serve this as a stew or take it one step further and use it as the filling for an impressive pie, topped with flakey pastry. Do make sure the meat is tender before serving, different cuts of meat will take longer cooking times.
You will need
1-2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1kg shoulder of beef, cut into one-inch chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
150ml beef stock
500ml of Guinness
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and ground black pepper
30g of plain flour
Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the meat in two batches, be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Remove and set aside on a plate. Add another drop of oil if you need it and then fry off the onion, carrots and celery. Add the meat back into the pot along with the garlic.
Pour in the stock, Guinness, one bay leaf and season to taste. Simmer gently for about 1ƒ hours until the liquid has reduced. If the sauce isn't thick enough, strain the juices into a bowl and then transfer to a small saucepan. Mix a little of the sauce with the flour over heat until you have a smooth paste, then whisk through the rest of the liquid. Simmer gently until you have a thickened sauce, then tip back over the meat. Serve with mashed potatoes or crusty bread.
A Taste of West Cork
A Taste of West Cork is taking place September 4-13 in Skibbereen. The festival celebrates a mix of the famous West Cork Food markets as well as talks, tastings, demos and exhibitions. There’s a mix of free and ticketed events so check out their website for details. SEE: atasteofwestcork.com
Roll It Puff Pastry
While there is nothing like homemade pastry, sometimes the hustle and bustle of everyday life doesn’t allow time for this. Mairead Finnegan produces Ireland’s only handmade all butter ready-roll pastry, Roll It, in Kells, Co Meath. The range includes sweet and plain shortcrust pastries made with Irish butter and it can be found the freezer department of selected food stores. Perfect if you do want to turn my stew into an impressive pie but are strapped for time!
Le Creuset Casserole Pots
With autumn just around the corner, I find myself making a lot more casseroles, stews and slow-cooked dishes. There are some dishes that need a little more time and I’ve been using Le Creuset cast iron casserole pots since I first moved out of home. While these pots are an investment, they will last you a lifetime and are the kind of thing you’ll pass down through the generations. They come in a range of styles, sizes and colours and can be used on the stove top or in the oven. SEE: lecreuset.ie