4-5 SlicesBacon, diced. You're looking for 6oz. Trader Joe's Black Forest bacon is good.
2 1/2LbsBoneless, beef-chuck, cut into 2 inch pieces. Whole Food had them on sale 4.50$/LB.
1-2Pinches Fresh black pepper
2Onions, coarsely chopped
15OZGuinness Stout beer
3Carrots, diced into 1 inch pieces
2StalksCelery, diced into 1 inch pieces.
1/2TSPFresh black pepper
2 1/2CupsBeef stock, unsalted or low sodium. Otherwise reduce salt above.
4CupsMashed Potatoes–yukon gold work great. skins off.
Season the beef with 1 tsp of salt and black pepper to taste. Let set while you cook the bacon.
In a heavy skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until bacon is browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Lower heat to simmer, and transfer bacon into your large cooking/stew pot. Leave the bacon fat in the skillet as you will use that to brown the beef.
Turn heat to high (know your stove) on the skillet that you cooked the bacon in and sear the beef pieces in the hot bacon fat on all sides until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Place beef in stew pot with bacon, leaving fat in skillet. NOTE: Be sure you brown the beef! Don’t be impatient and skip this step. It’s crucial. So take the time to brown the beef in small batches and don't crowd the pan, otherwise your meat will look grey.
Note: Those browned beef bits in the bottom of the pan! That’s where a ton of the flavor is, When you deglaze the pan with the beer you'll get all that flavor into the stew.
Turn heat down to medium; add the onions into the retained fat in the skillet cook until lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes; season with a large pinch of salt. Add in the garlic and cook about 45 seconds, stirring the onions and garlic together.
Pour in the beer while scraping the bottom of the pan to get those flavor bits.
Now pour the contents of the skillet/pan into the cooking/stew pot.
Add into the cook/stew pot, the tomato paste, thyme sprigs, carrots, celery, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and enough beef broth to cover. Stir well and make sure everything is well mixed. Bring to a slow boil, then turn heat down to low, cover and simmer about 2 hours. Check on it and give it a stir or two.
Once beef is fork tender, remove lid, and bring heat up to medium and a slow boil and cook until it has thickened slightly. Maybe 15-20 minutes. This is a great time to get your mashed potatoes prepared.
We served this using a large plate that we ringed with the mashed potatoes then scooped the stew into the middle of the ring.
Beverage choices: Guinness, Harp.Hearty red wines; cabernet, merlot, zinfandel, shiraz, or malbec. Nothing light like a pinot.