Oven-Braised Guinness Beef Stew With Horseradish Cream
Classic beef stew is good, but this sophisticated beef stew — enriched with beer, cocoa powder and espresso — is really something special. Start by browning the beef and making a quick roux to guarantee a thick, flavorful stew instead of a watery, bland soup, and finish with hit of balsamic vinegar and lemon juice to balance out the rich, round notes. Dried shiitake mushrooms provide another layer of complexity, but if you can’t find them, leave them out. The stew will still be delicious. Top big bowls of it with swirls of tangy horseradish cream. (Here are slow cooker and pressure cooker versions of the recipe.)
- Serves: 6 persons
- 3pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed and meat cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2tablespoons plus 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
- 3large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2dried shiitake mushrooms, halved (optional)
- 2tablespoons tomato paste
- 2teaspoons packed brown sugar
- 1teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1teaspoon onion powder
- ½teaspoon caraway seeds
- ½teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 2 ½cups Guinness or other stout beer
- 2 ½cups beef stock or broth
- 2fresh thyme sprigs
- 1pound red or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1to 1 1/2 pounds root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, rutabaga, celery root and parsnips, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1teaspoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
- ¾cup sour cream
- 3tablespoons jarred horseradish
- ¼cup minced scallions or chives
Step 1Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the beef and 2 tablespoons flour. Season generously with salt and pepper and toss to coat. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high. Working in batches, add the beef and let it brown on two sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add a bit more oil if the meat sticks. (You can brown it on more than two sides if you have time, but browning it on two sides is enough to build flavor and texture.) Transfer the browned beef to a bowl or plate.
Step 2Make the gravy: Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic, dried shiitakes (if using), tomato paste, brown sugar, cocoa, onion powder, caraway seeds and espresso powder. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant and evenly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. (Reduce the heat to low or remove from the heat temporarily if the bottom of the pan threatens to burn.) Add the remaining 1/3 cup flour and cook, stirring and scraping constantly, until the mixture forms a thick, dry paste, about 1 minute. Add the beer and stock. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let it boil until smooth and thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
Step 3Add the beef and any juices, thyme, potatoes and root vegetables. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook until the beef and vegetables are tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Step 4Add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Taste, and season with more salt, pepper and lemon juice if necessary. (If the stew tastes flat, add more lemon juice first, then more salt and pepper; acid is key to making it taste lively. It may need a surprising amount of salt, especially if you have used unsalted or low-salt stock.) Discard the thyme.
Step 5Make the horseradish cream: Stir together the sour cream, horseradish and scallions in a small bowl. Season with salt. Serve stew in bowls with a spoonful of the horseradish cream on top.