Guinness Beef Stew with Terri-Lynne DeFino

3 lbs lean sirloin cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 tbsp olive oil, divided into 3/3
7 whole shallots, sliced thin
1/3 cup flour
2 cups Guinness (or any stout, ale, or dark beer)
2 cups beef stock
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
12 oz package of white mushrooms, sliced
3 large Portobello mushroom caps, chopped medium
1 tbsp fresh thyme*
1 1/2 cups small, frozen peas
1 cup barley, optional. If you use the barley, add another cup of beef stock

Toss cubed beef with salt and pepper. On high heat, brown half in 3 tbsp of oil. Remove and set aside.
Repeat with the other half of the cubed beef.

Lower heat to medium. In the oil left in the pot, sauté the shallots until golden.

Add flour to shallots, cook for 3 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Sticking isn’t a problem. It’s what’s going to thicken your stew.

Add Guinness, stock, tomato past and brown sugar to the pot. Cook about a minute, scraping (deglazing) the stuff that stuck to the bottom and sides.

Return beef to the pot along with the carrots and white mushrooms. (If you’re adding the barley, now’s the time)

Bring to a simmer–never a boil! Boiling destroys not only nutrients, but flavor–and let it cook partially covered for about 45-60 minutes, or until the beef is fall-apart tender.

Stir in Portobellos, thyme and peas and cook for another five minutes.

Guinness Beef Stew is even better the next day, so double your batch and savor it.

(or 1 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme. If you use dry, add it to the stew when you return the beef to the pot.)



9781616507688Johanna Coco is finally home in Bitterly, Connecticut, to attend her beloved grandmother’s funeral—only to be confronted by the very reason she’s stayed away to begin with–Charlie McCallan. Her high school sweetheart is now divorced, and no longer the skinny boy Johanna once loved. Hometown handsome and dependable as always, Charlie is the kind of man she needs to lean on as she and her sisters grapple with their grief—as well as the mystery of their long-missing mother, Carolina. But Johanna’s heart isn’t only haunted by her ghosts; it’s haunted by what happened between her and Charlie…

Charlie is determined to do things right this time, and he has to do it before Johanna vanishes from his life again. First he needs to prove to her that the past is past, and they can overcome it–no easy task when he’s up against the ghosts lingering in her life, trying to convince her that happily-ever-after is not in the cards for any of the catastrophe-prone Coco sisters, least of all Johanna. But her fearless first love is ready to do whatever it takes to win her back—ghosts be damned.