With the craziness of the world right now, I think we could all use an extra dose of comfort food.
Soup is my ultimate comfort food. And soup is a great thing to make right now while many of us are quarantined or practicing social distancing because many recipes can be made with shelf-stable pantry items and vegetables that can hang out for awhile in the fridge. Most recipes also make A LOT, which means that you’ll be covered for several meals.
And since it’s a stressful time right now AND because tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, I’m going out on a limb here and saying that I may not be the only one who wants to put my beer IN my dinner while also drinking it. No? Just me?
If you’re picking up what I’m putting down, I give you Irish beef stew made with stout beer and topped with biscuits infused with MORE stout (yes, please) and sharp Irish cheddar cheese. Yes, yes, yes.
It’s just what the doctor ordered during this time of stress.
This stew is HEAVEN. It’s rich and incredibly comforting – the depth of flavor developed here is awesome. It’s essentially my version of beef bourguignon except that the wine has been subbed out for thick and creamy stout beer. The result is just awesome. Plain and simple.
Now, this is the type of meal that takes time. There’s no way around it. The chuck roast needs a couple hours to slowly braise until it is succulent and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Again, this seems like the perfect time to attempt a meal like this since we’re all going to be hanging out in our homes for awhile.
You could start this in the morning, pop it in the oven, and forget about it for a couple hours. Keep it warm until dinner time and bake off the biscuits just before serving. Because this stew cooks for so long, the flavors are rich and deep and incredibly savory.
I love to serve soup with some sort of carb on the side. And while I developed and made this recipe a couple weeks ago before the COVID-19 reached it’s current level in the US, I think we could use that side carb now more than ever.
To really drive home the stout theme and flavor, I made stout cheddar biscuits to eat alongside the stew. Or dunked in the stew (my personal fave way to consume them). The best part? They’re DROP biscuits, which makes them incredibly easy to throw together.
You stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and then scoop out blobs of the dough (very technical terminology) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake! No chilling, rolling, or cutting out of biscuits. Just drop and go! They are so, so easy but taste so, so amazing.
Dan was obsessed. He ate his soup with a minimum of two biscuits, and then he would nibble on a third biscuit after his stew was gone. He said they were the best biscuit I’ve made to date.
So go on. Treat yourself to something a little special during this time of uncertainty and…well, weirdness. You’re gonna be home anyway! May as well make the best of it! And eating this stew and biscuits is definitely one of the best ways to live.
This Irish Beef Stew with Stout-Cheddar Biscuits is the ultimate comfort food meal and perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! Rich stew flavored with Irish whiskey and stout and topped off with the most decadent stout-cheddar drop biscuits. Heaven in a bowl!
For the Stew:
- 6 strips bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 lb boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup Irish whiskey
- 1 (12-oz) Irish stout beer
- 4 cups low-sodium beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ lbs baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or 2 large potatoes, cut into large chunks)
- 2 cups frozen pearl onions (no need to defrost ahead)
- 1 cup frozen peas (no need to defrost ahead)
- Fresh parsley, for serving
For the Biscuits:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup cold buttermilk
- ½ cup cold stout beer (optional – sub with buttermilk if needed)
For the Stew:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a large pot or Dutch oven, crisp the bacon over medium heat. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Increase the temperature to medium-high and add in the oil. Pat the pieces of beef dry with paper towels. Season liberally with salt and pepper on all sides (I use roughly 1½ teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper). Add the beef to the pot in batches. Sear for 2 minutes per side, or until a golden brown crust forms.
- Remove the browned beef from the pot and set aside. Reduce the temperature to medium again.
- Add in the onion, carrots, celery, and a pinch of salt and sauté for several minutes, or until tender. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute or until fragrant.
- Sprinkle the flour evenly over the veggies and toss to coat. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the flour is golden brown.
- Add in the whiskey, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot, and bring to a simmer.
- Add in the beer, stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, bay leaf, and potatoes, along with another teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Return the beef and bacon to the pot and stir to combine everything. Return the liquid to a simmer.
- Cover the pot and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 2½-3 hours, occasionally checking on the beef and stirring things around. The meat is done when a fork easily pierces it and it sort of falls apart.
- Add in the frozen pearl onions and peas and stir to combine and return the pot, uncovered, to the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly while you bake the biscuits.
For the Biscuits:
- Increase the oven temperature to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Stir in the grated cheese until it is coated in the flour.
- Melt the butter in a heat proof mixing cup in the microwave. Once it has cooled slightly, whisk in the buttermilk and beer. If the mixture looks curdled, this is OK! It will incorporate once mixed with the dry ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until the mixture comes together and is no longer crumbly.
- Dollop ¼-cup scoops of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a couple inches of space between the biscuits.
- Brush the tops of the biscuits with a little buttermilk and place the baking sheet in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden and puffed.
- Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs from the stew.
- Ladle the stew into serving bowls and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Top each bowl with a biscuit and serve.
Biscuits adapted from here.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes (most is inactive)
- Category: soup
Keywords: Irish beef stew, stout beef stew, St. Patrick's day recipes, beer beef stew, cheddar beer biscuits, cheddar stout biscuits, drop biscuit recipes, beef stew recipes