At the first hint of autumnal weather, the call goes up in the Kenny household for beef and Guinness stew, a concoction of slow-cooked goodness that, along with lasagna, is one of my specialties. So, today I took some "me" time...or I should say "us" time, as the concoction is most avidly enjoyed by My Lovely Wife (who is indeed the person who puts up the call as the weather goes autumnal), and whipped up a batch.
It's such a simple thing to make that I'm almost embarrassed to boast about it. You chop up a buncha veggies—I'm big on carrots and potatoes, obviously, have grown to enjoy onions in a stew more and thus slice a fairly big one into eighths, and for some extra texture and nutritional value throw in parsnip slices—brown two-and-a-half pounds of meat, throw it all in a crock pot, and pour two cans of Guinness stout over it. Season a bit, throw a buncha thyme sprigs on top, put a lid on the pot, set on low, and forget it for eight hours. Go to the gym, read some Bleak House, listen to some Art Tatum, Cecil Taylor, Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh, or do all of the above. People who've given up drinking sometimes fret about cooking with alcohol, as the booze-burnoff isn't always 100% assured. This is one of those recipes where it's guaranteed; the resultant stew is entirely suitable for children and the alcohol-allergic. And is kind of unbelievably delicious and tender. This was a particularly hearty and satisfying batch.
Sometimes people say to me, "Glenn, you're such a dick; but your wife seems, indeed, really lovely. How the hell does she live with you?" The above would seem to be a portion of the answer.