Jim Collins’ Irish Stew

2 pounds chuck beef stew meat (or lamb) cut into 1 ½ inch chunks

3 teaspoons salt, or more to taste

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

4 cups beef stock

2 cups water

1 cup Guinness extra stout (enjoy the rest while you cook)

1 cup hearty red wine (if you don’t like stout, enjoy the wine)

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½ inch pieces (about 7 cups)

1 large onion, chopped (1 ½ to 2 cups)

½ pound baby carrots

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for serving (optional)

Sprinkle about a teaspoon salt over the meat pieces. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a large (6 to 8 quart), thick bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the beef (do not crowd the beef in the pan) and cook without stirring, until well browned on one side. Turn the pieces over and brown on the other side.

Add all the beef back into the pot. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the beef stock, water, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, cover and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

While the pot of meat and stock are simmering, melt the butter in another pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and sauté until the onions are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the beef mixture has simmered for one hour.

Add the onions, carrots, potatoes, black pepper and two teaspoons salt to the beef mixture and simmer uncovered about 40 minutes or until the vegetables and beef are very tender. Remove the bay leaves and skim off any excess fat.

Transfer to serving bowls, sprinkle with parsley and serve.