How to Make Beef and Guinness Casserole

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Irish chef and author Maura O’Connell Foley shows you how to make this braised beef casserole, perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any other time of year.

When it comes to Irish foods, most Americans immediately think of corned beef and cabbage with a Guinness or Jameson on the side. While the Guinness and Jameson are classics, you’d be hard-pressed to find corned beef and cabbage served in most Irish homes or restaurants on St. Patrick’s Day. (Instead, you’d likely see these traditional Irish foods.)

If you’re looking for true Irish cuisine, look no further than chef Maura O’Connell Foley’s new cookbook, My Wild Atlantic Kitchen. It’s a compilation of her favorite recipes created throughout her 60+ year career. Maura’s recipes are Irish through and through, and highlight her passions for keeping food simple, cooking with care and using the best available local products.

Maura O’Connell Foley portraitLynda Kenny Visual Feasts

Real Irish Cooking

Maura’s home of Kenmare, located on Ireland’s southwest coast, has greatly influenced her recipes. In the cookbook (and at Shelburne Lodge, the guesthouse she owns with her husband, Tom) you’ll find both new and traditional Irish recipes. While most ingredients will be easy to find in the U.S., if you have any difficulty, you just have to follow Maura’s advice.

“One should use a recipe as a guide only as there are so many factors that will determine the outcome,” she says. “For that reason, tasting as you cook is vital.”

We know you’ll have the ingredients for her Beef and Guinness Casserole, but don’t let that stop you from sampling as you go.

How to Make Beef & Guinness Casserole

This is the Irish version of beef bourguignon, using Guinness instead of red wine. It’s a hearty winter dish but can be made all year round. The casserole is best served with creamed potatoes, colcannon or brown rice.

Ingredients

  • 2¾ lbs. (1.5 kg) stew beef, trimmed and cut into around 1½-in. (4 cm) pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. plain white flour, seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 17½ oz. (500ml) good quality beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato puree
  • 4 large onions, peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz. (225g) carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 8 oz. (225g) celery, roughly chopped
  • 17½ oz. (500ml) Guinness
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • A few springs of flat leaf parsley or a small bay leaf, to garnish
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the beef

Preheat the oven to fan 170°C / fan 340°F / gas mark 5.

Toss the beef in the seasoned flour to coat, shaking off any excess. In a large casserole dish, heat the oil and melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over a high heat. Add the beef to the pan and quickly brown in batches. Be careful not to crowd the pan as the beef will stew instead of sear and caramelize. Remove the seared beef to a plate. Reduce the heat to low and add 100 milliliters of the beef stock to deglaze, scraping the residue off the base to save the caramelized flavor. Stir in the tomato puree and then turn the heat off.

Step 2: Saute the onions

In a frying pan, melt the remaining butter over a medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes or until softened. Tip the onions out of the pan and set aside. To the same pan, add the carrots and celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Deglaze this pan with a little of the stock and add to the casserole.

Step 3: Combine and braise

Add the meat, onions, carrots and celery to the casserole dish with the Guinness and remaining stock. Add the thyme sprigs and stir all together to ensure everything is well distributed. Bring the casserole to the boil over a high heat, then cover and braise in the oven for 3 hours, checking periodically that it’s not drying out and adding more stock (or water) if necessary. Check the meat with a skewer or knife to see if it’s tender; it should be soft and easily come apart. Season to taste.

My Wild Atlantic Kitchen MontageCourtesy Maura O’Connell Foley(2), Norman McCloskey

More About My Wild Atlantic Kitchen

The book contains much more than just recipes. We’re smitten by the amazing stories and personal insights scattered throughout, as well as the food and landscape photos. In keeping with her love of art and the Irish terrain, the book includes photography by renowned landscape photographer Norman McCloskey, illustrations by artist Christine Bowen and paintings from internationally acclaimed Irish artist Pauline Bewick.

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James Schend
As Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversees the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and manages all food content for Trusted Media Brands. Prior to this position, James worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.