If you can’t tell by looking at my picture, my family background is Irish. Unfortunately, the Irish have historically not be known for culinary mastery. I think that is a shame; meat and potatoes may not be the fanciest thing on the planet, but they can be so delicious. With is being St. Patrick’s Day, that means a nice bowl of stew to me. I could have gone with corned beef, the other Irish classic; however, I generally prefer stew.
I went with a pretty classic Guinness-based Beef Stew. Neither Rob or I are particularly big fans of Guinness (or stouts in general) as a beer to drink. That said it makes a really good base for stew, with a lot of flavor. To really bring it back to the pot roasts I ate growing up, I also added some drop dumplings. I actually made the dumpling batter on my own.
Overall, the dumplings came out pretty well, but honestly Bisquick is still the benchmark for me. The batter I made used butter to provide the fat. As far as I can tell, Bisquick uses shortening in place of butter. The dumplings were noticeably buttery in flavor, which wasn’t bad but just a little different. I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have the same puffy texture that the classic provides; they were soft but not in the same way.
Guinness Irish Stew and Dumplings
- 1.25 Lb Beef Chuck cut into stew cubes
- 2 Tbs Olive Oil
- 1/4 Cup Flour to dust the beef
- 15 Oz Can Guinness
- 1/2 Yellow Onion Finely diced
- 3 Carrots 1 inch at thick end cut into quarter inch thick slices
- 8 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes quartered
- 3 Garlic Cloves smashed
- 2 Cups Beef Stock
- 1 Tbs Tomato Paste
- 2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Cup Flour
- 2 Tbs Butter cold and cut into small cubes
- 1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Pat the beef dry, salt/pepper, and dust with flour.
- Brown the beef for about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the meat and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Saute the onion for about 4 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the Guinness to deglaze the pot. Allow to come up to a low simmer.
- Add the meat back in along with the carrots, potatoes, herbs, tomato paste, Worcestershire, and stock.
- Bring the mixture up to low simmer, cover, and place in the oven for about 2 hours.
- Mix the dumpling batter, dry ingredients first, then add the butter (use a pastry cutter or forks to cut), and finally add the milk.
- Drop the biscuits on top of the stew and cook for the last 30 minutes of the cooking period.