1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
1-1/2 to 2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces and patted dry with a paper towel
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef consomm
3/4 cups water
1 cup Guinness stout
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups (1-1/2 inch) slices carrot
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour mixed with 1/3 cup water
Egg dumplings (recipe follows)
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnishing
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and saut until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saut until garlic softens. Add consomm, water, Guinness, wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.
While the meat mixture is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Saut vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes.
Discard bay leaves. Add flour/water mixture and continue cooking until thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring stew back to a boil to add dumplings. (See recipe below.) To make stew ahead, cool, cover, then refrigerate for up to 2 days. Bring to a simmer before serving. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
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