Flat tires. Work problems. Bills. Stuffy colds. Relationship issues.
We all have our bad days. Bleh.
But even when your laundry machine unexpectedly breaks when you were in the middle of using it, or when you totally forgot that really important thing you promised yourself you wouldn’t forget, that frustration and defeat can easily disappear.
It’s all thanks to the healing power of comfort food.
You know you’ve found your ultimate happy place when you’re on a comfy couch in your pj’s, curled up with your favorite soft blankie (hey, we all have one…), and caressing a big, warm bowl of this hearty Guinness beef stew.
We make our recipe in the slow cooker, letting all the flavors blend together throughout the day – you’ll love the end result of coming home, completely exhausted, to an amazing meal.
So fill up your belly, and fix your nearly broken spirit, with chunks of melt-in-your-mouth beef, tender pieces of potatoes, carrots, and onions, and a thick, flavorful broth.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep the Ingredients
Using a vegetable peeler, remove and discard the skin from the carrots.
On a separate cutting board and knife, dice the bacon into small, evenly sized pieces.
Step 2 – Cook the Bacon
In a large pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until most of the fat is rendered, and the pieces are cooked and just a little crispy.
If you have an Instant Pot, Breville Fast/Slow Cooker, or another type of slow cooker with a Sear setting, this can be done directly in the appliance on your countertop instead.
With a slotted spoon, place the bacon pieces on a plate lined with paper towels, keeping the bacon fat in the pan. Leave the pan on the heat to cook the meat in the following steps.
Step 3 – Dredge the Steak
In a large sealed bag, or in a bowl, combine the flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Use freshly ground salt and pepper for the freshest flavor!
Add the steak, and toss until all of the pieces are evenly coated with the seasoned flour.
Step 4 – Sear the Steak
Add the dredged steak to the preheated pan with the reserved bacon grease. Briefly sear until all sides are browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and place the steak in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Step 5 – Brown the Onions and Garlic
In the same pan, add the onions. Saute briefly until browned and slightly softened. If the pan appears dry, add a splash of beef stock.
Add the garlic and saute for just another minute, stirring constantly so the garlic does not burn.
Step 6 – Combine and Cook
Add the cooked onions and garlic to the beef. Add the potatoes, carrots, reserved bacon, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes and the bottle of stout.
Pour in enough of the beef stock to coat most of the ingredients in the bowl. You may not need to use all of the stock. Mix everything together.
Secure the lid, and cook on low for 7-8 hours. About halfway through, you may want to taste the cooking liquid for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Step 7 – Serve
Once the stew has cooked for 7-8 hours, the liquid will be thick and slightly reduced, and the meat and vegetables will be tender.
Nothing is Better than Beer and Beef
You may be having a really bad day today. Maybe it’s because of a horrific first date, or you banged your knee on the side of your bed frame (not again!).
You don’t need any of that nonsense.
But what you do need is a big bowl of this comforting beef and veggie stew, to help you remember that this crazy thing we call life isn’t always going to be filled with bad days.
Because there’s no way that you would feel worse after eating soup with a whole bottle of Guinness stout mixed into the broth…
And if you’re having an extra horrible day, you might need some backup. Take a look at all of our comfort food dishes to keep you full and happy for many more meals.
Craving dessert? Try our Guinness chocolate cupcakes with Baileys buttercream frosting, and turn that frown upside down with booze and sugar! You can find all of our St. Paddy’s Day recipes here.
What comfort food do you like to eat on bad days? What do you think of this recipe, flavored with stout beer? Give us your own tips in the comment section below for how to stay sane and happy in this crazy world!
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Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Nikki Cervone
Nikki Cervone is a hungry foodie living in Pittsburgh. Nikki holds an AAS in baking/pastry from Westmoreland County Community College, a BA in Communications from Duquesne University, and an MLA in Gastronomy from Boston University. When she is not tearing through her city's best grub, Nikki enjoys a healthy dose of yoga and chocolate. Lots of chocolate.