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Beef and Guinness Stew ...Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Irish eyes are definitely smiling on me today.  Skies are bright and clear with temps near 60° and heading upwards for tomorrow!  I'm armed with a case of Guinness and a six-pack of Smithwick's...a pot of Beef and Guinness Stew...a half a loaf of rye...homemade corned beef...and spuds and cabbage galore.  I'm off to track leprechauns and pots of gold...explore sparse patches of grass for four leaf a jig.  I can feel that trickle of Irish blood that flows through my veins pumping hard today.
Beef and Guinness Stew
makes ~6 svgs.

 ~2 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
 2 Tbs. flour (or potato starch)
 kosher salt
 freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. butter
 good pinch of piquin molido (or another ground hot chile powder, such as cayenne)
 2  onions, chopped
 3 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
 2 Tbs. tomato paste
~1 Tbs. dried thyme
~1/2 Tbs. dried oregano
12 oz. Guinness, at room temp.
2 c. beef broth/stock
1-2 large carrots, sliced thickly on the bias
1-2 large parsnips, peeled & cut thickly on the bias
1-2 large russet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 bay leaves

chopped parsley, to garnish

Preheat oven to 300° F.

Combine flour with a few good pinches of salt and grinds of pepper and the chile in a gallon zippered baggy.  Toss in the beef cubes, seal and shake it all around to coat.

Heat oil and butter in a Dutch oven, over medium-high.  Pour in the contents of zippered baggy.  Let the meat brown, and then stir it around and brown all sides.  This process will take ~10 minutes.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook for another few minutes, stirring every now and again.  Add the tomato paste, thyme, and oregano and stir all around to coat the meat and veggies.  Cook out for about 2 minutes.

Carefully pour in the Guinness, scraping the beautiful bits of fond from the bottom of the pot.  Add beef broth and bay leaves and bring the whole thing to a simmer.  Cover and slide into preheated oven.  Cook for 1 hour.  Remove pot and add prepared carrots, parsnips, and potatoes...stirring them in quickly and replacing lid.  Continue to cook another 1-1½ hours, until everything is tender and stewy.  Adjust seasonings, as necessary and serve with chopped parsley.
The scent is died-and-gone-to heavenly...and it tastes even better the following day.

May the luck of the Irish be with ya...because remember, we're all Irish today!
*Yes, I know that St. Patrick's Day isn't actually until tomorrow.  But I'm heading out to get an early start.☺