Before you start a pub crawl this Saint Patrick's Day, gather your pals for a hearty meal that's all Irish. L.A.-based Stuart O'Keeffe, a 32-year-old Irish chef who has been a co-star of the Food Network's Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, suggests straying from tired corned beef and cabbage and, instead, celebrating the day with the delicious beef and Guinness of his "heart's home."
In Ireland, livestock grazes free-range on endless pastureland, and the supremely flavorful beef that results is "very, very important to the Irish diet," says O'Keeffe, originally from Nenagh in County Tipperary. As for Guinness, the dry stout that originated in Dublin, "is our religion back home," he says.
For O'Keeffe's beef stew with Guinness, he asks the butcher to cut short ribs and cooks them with fresh local root vegetables – staples on the Irish isle. He braises everything long and slow, letting the Guinness break down the meat with its acidity and hops. It couldn't be easier: Brown the meat and veggies, and throw everything in together to slow cook this one-pot wonder that will magically produce a dark, inky sauce you won't soon forget.
Stuart O'Keeffe's Irish Guinness Beef Stew
4 lbs boneless short ribs or bone-in, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 can Guinness
1 cup beef stock (available at any supermarket)
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, as garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or cast-iron pot. Brown short ribs until nice and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove meat from pan and set aside in a bowl. Brown onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add carrots and celery, and let cook another 4 minutes. Add 1 cup of beef stock, and scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits. Add the meat back to the pan, followed by the can of Guinness. Season with 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Simmer stew for 20 minutes, then cover and place in oven to braise for 2 hours. Test for tenderness and seasoning before removing. Serve on top of mashed potatoes or with a fresh green salad. Sprinkle fresh parsley on each serving of stew.