Guinness Braised Beef with Shallots & Mushrooms

IMG_6493When I get an idea for a recipe in my head, it tumbles around until the pieces get sorted.  It takes several tries to get it right, and sometimes it needs to be left alone for a long while, until something pops into my head to make it right.

Last year when we were in Oceanside, Washington, we had an amazing Guinness and beef soup.  It was delicious. But at the time, their fabulous Irish Soda Bread was what set my wheels turning, so the soup was relegated to a back shelf in my brain for the time being.

When our beef was cut this fall, we came home with several good-sized Eye of Round roasts.  They would be perfect for a large group dinner, so that idea was put on a shelf, maybe beside the Guinness soup, for thinking about later.

Knowing I would be cooking for a large Seniors Dinner in late February, I started “playing” with Guinness braised steaks sometime in January.  The length of time cooking, so that the steaks were tender, but not over done, took some tweaking.  The thickness of the sauce and its ratio to the steaks was important, as well.

It may not be a soup, but the soup definitely inspired the dish.  After eating more steaks than originally planned, here’s the recipe.  I suggest it be served with fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes.

Click here for printable version.

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 T canola oil

4 beef round steaks (about 6oz each, at least ¾” thick)

750 ml Guinness

3 T Worcestershire Sauce

¼ c tomato paste

6 shallots; peeled and halved. Leave some of the root intact, so the shallot stays together somewhat while cooking.

6 cloves garlic, peeled

4 bay leaves

1 T butter

12 oz mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1½ T balsamic vinegar

Showing the root end trimmed but still intact, prior to halving.

Showing the root end trimmed but still intact, prior to halving.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy bottomed skillet (or Dutch oven), over medium heat.IMG_6461

Blot the steaks dry with a piece of paper towel.

Season both sides with salt & pepper.IMG_6463

Sear 2 steaks at a time, browning both sides – about 3 minutes per side. Do not crowd them or they won’t sear properly.

Cooking one at a time due to the size of my pot.

Cooking one at a time due to the size of my pot.

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Remove to a plate, and brown the next pair of steaks, using the second tablespoon of oil if necessary.  Reserve with the first two steaks.

Gently pour the Guinness into the hot skillet.IMG_6468

Bring to a simmer, stirring and deglazing the pan.

Add in the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.

Stir until well combined.

Set the steaks in the bottom of a deep baking dish, which has a lid.

Arrange the shallots, garlic, and bay leaves on top of the steaks.

Carefully pour the Guinness mixture over the vegetables and steaks.IMG_6471

Cover the baking dish with foil, and then cover with the lid. This is to retain as much moisture as possible.IMG_6473

Place in the center of the preheated oven.

Cook for 1 hour.

10 minutes prior to the end of the hour, cook the mushrooms.

Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat.

Add in the mushrooms.

Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown.

After about 7 minutes of cooking, add in the balsamic vinegar.

Continue cooking while the mushrooms absorb the vinegar, another couple of minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the mushrooms rest.IMG_6486

When the beef is ready, remove it from the oven.

Uncover, and using tongs or a fork, remove the steaks to a plate.

Pour the liquid and vegetables into the skillet with the mushrooms.

Remove the bay leaves.

Stir well to incorporate the mushrooms.

Bring to a quick simmer, and reduce the sauce for about 10 minutes, until it has thickened.

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Add the steaks back to the baking dish.

Pour the mushroom sauce over the steaks.IMG_6489

Put the lid back on the baking dish.

Cook for another 20 minutes.

To serve:

Remove the steaks from the sauce.

Lay alongside a portion of fluffy mashed potatoes.

Spoon out some mushrooms and shallots, along with a bit of sauce, to cover the steak.

Finally, spoon some plain sauce over the potatoes and steak.

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Serve with a green vegetable such as broccoli, rapini, or green beans.

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