2 lbs. stew beef
3 T. oil
2 T. flour
salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of cayenne
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed (optional)
2 T. tomato puree, dissolved in 4 T water
1-1/4 c. Guinness stout beer
2 c. carrots, cut into chunks
sprig of thyme
Trim the beef of any fat or gristle, cut into cubes of 2 inches and toss them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil. Season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch or two of cayenne. Toss the meat in the mixture. Heat the remaining oil in a wide frying pan over a high heat. Brown the meat on all sides. Add the onions, crushed garlic, and tomato puree to the pan, cover and cook gently for about 5 minutes.
Transfer the contents of the pan to a casserole, and pour some of the Guinness beer into the frying pan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the caramelized meat juices on the pan.
Pour onto the meat with the remaining Guinness; add the carrots and the thyme. Stir, taste, and add a little more salt if necessary. Cover with the lid of the casserole and simmer very gently until the meat is tender, 2-3 hours. The stew can been cooked on top of the stove or in a low oven at 300 degrees. Taste and correct the seasonings. Scatter with lots of chopped fresh parsley.