I love this recipe because it is so warm and comforting. It's a very traditional Irish farmhouse dinner.
Technique tip: Deglazing the pan ensures you get all those wonderful crispy bits and tasty flavors into the casserole.
Swap option: Use Wicklow Wolf Porter or a full bodied red wine instead of the Guinness.
- Rapeseed oil
- 3 ounces Irish smoked bacon, sliced into chunks
- 2½ pounds round steak stewing beef, cut into chunks
- All-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large Spanish onion, sliced
- 1/2 small butternut squash (about 6 ounces), roughly diced
- 2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
- One 14-ounce can chopped plum tomatoes
- 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon English mustard powder
- 1½ cups Guinness, divided
- 1 bouquet garni (5 sprigs parsley, 1 sprig fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf, tied together with kitchen string)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Beef stock, as needed
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Place a medium size Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot over a medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and the bacon and sauté until crispy. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
3. Season the flour well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the diced beef into the seasoned flour and dust off any excess.
4. Add a little more oil to the casserole and fry the beef, working in batches, until browned on all sides. Place the seared beef pieces on the clean plate with the bacon and set aside.
5. Add a little more oil to the casserole and gently sauté the onion until just softened but not brown. Pour 1/2 cup of the Guinness into the pan to deglaze.
6. Return the beef, bacon and its juices to the casserole and stir in the diced butternut squash, red peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, mustard, bouquet garni, butter and the remainder of the Guinness to the pan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper (it's important that the meat is covered with liquid, therefore add a little beef stock if required).
7. Bring to a boil, cover and place in the oven for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened slightly. Stir from time to time, but take care not to break up the meat.