Oven-Cooked Irish Stew

This recipe appeared in the March 2006 issue of Cruising World.

2 pounds stewing beef

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1/4 cup olive oil

2 12-ounce bottles Guinness beer

10 baby onions, peeled

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

2-3 carrots, sliced

2 cups frozen peas

1 large potato, peeled and diced

2 cubes beef bouillon

Healthy shake Worcestershire sauce

1 bunch fresh parsley

Cut beef into bite-sized pieces. In a reasealable plastic bag, toss together beef, flour, thyme, sage, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until meat is lightly but evenly coated. Saute in olive oil until browned on all sides. Add a healthy splash of beer to carmelize the pan juices, scraping browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat and add onions, garlic, and tomato paste. Stir and simmer briefly. Add carrots, peas, diced potato, bouillon, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir; transfer stew to an oiled, oven-proof casserole. Pour more Guinness over stew; stir. Cover and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 to 2 hours, until meat and vegetables are cooked and tender, checking frequently and adding beer or water and adjusting seasonings as necessary. If stew broth seems too thin, mix together a little flour and water and stir into stew immediately after removing from oven. Garnish with parsley. Serve with Irish soda bread.