Ok, it’s Sunday, my favorite day of the week.  It’s the one day my wife and I get to spend together, so we always try and make it special – at least food wise!  Today we went Christmas shopping for the kids, and now its time to cook.  We live in New England, so it was a little gray and cold today – felt like snow, but it never did.  Have a fire going, and Lynne is making her infamous Guinness Beef Stew….. this is definitely an all time favorite, and super easy!!  I made this for the office once, and everyone loved it!
Instead of stew meat, we usually use a Top Round ( sometimes known as London Broil) steak, and cut it into cubes.  It costs about the same, and is a much higher quality meat. 
For the Garlic Smashed potatoes, we use baby red’s, with the skins on.  Cut them up into about ½ inch cubes, and use about a heaping handful per serving. Rinse, then cover with water.  I add about a ¼ tsp salt, and ½ tsp garlic powder to the water.  Boil, until you can break the pieces up with a fork.  Drain, and return to the pan.   Add about 2 tbs of butter, about a ¼ cup half and half, another tsp garlic powder,  6 or 7 twists of fresh ground pepper, and a heaping tablespoon of sour cream to the potatoes, and mash with a hand masher till thick and lumpy.  Lumpy is GOOD in this case – be careful with the half and half – doesn’t take much. A chunk of cream cheese turns them into heaven….. not a lot- about  one inch of the block, maybe a ¼ cup…
So here is the recipe!  Enjoy – it’s an awesome winter meal.  Bon Appetit
Lynne’s Guinness Beef Stew:
Ø      Ingredients:
Ø                  2 ½ lbs stew beef
Ø                  1/3 cup all purpose flour
Ø                  1/3 cup olive oil
Ø                  1 large onion, chopped
Ø                  3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
Ø                  3 cups Guinness beer
Ø             4 cubes beef bullion
Ø                  1 tsp salt
Ø                  1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Ø                  ¼ tsp pepper
Ø                  1 16 oz bag carrots
Ø      1 10 oz pkg frozen peas
Directions:
  1. Cut meat into 1 inch cubes. Coat meat with flour, reserve leftover flour.
  2. In a 6 qt pot, heat oil over med high heat
  3. Brown meat all over in small batches, remove pieces as they brown.  Reduce heat to medium
  4. Add onion and garlic to drippings in pan, stir till tender.  Add reserve flour.
  5. Gradually add beer, bullion, salt, pepper, Worcestershire.  Stir until slightly thickened. 
  6. Add meat, heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 ½ hours until meat almost tender, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add carrots, heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
8.                  Add peas, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until all vegetables are tender.  Serve over Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes.