With the weather getting colder, it's time to start nestling into cozy blankets and enjoying home-cooked meals that keep you warm long into the night. Wrangler Stew tastes like nuzzling up near a gentle hearth; every bite features generous chunks of earthy, wholesome potatoes and onions, juicy seared beef, and tender vegetables. Savory, rich, and meaty with a few notes of sweetness and dark beer, Wrangler Stew fends off the chilliest of days with good old-fashioned flavors.
Ingredients• 3 pounds beef chuck roast, boneless, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces • salt, to taste • pepper, to taste • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if desired • 2 medium-sized yellow onions, chopped • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into thick slices • 2 celery stalks, chopped into thick pieces • 4 large potatoes, quartered • 1/4 cup flour • 1 1/2 cups dry stout beer, such as Guinness, or dark beer of choice • 3 tablespoons tomato paste • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, optional • 4 cups beef broth or stock • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, optional garnish • mashed potatoes, optional, for serving
Set the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Then, thoroughly season the beef with salt and pepper. You'll want to be generous as you are only seasoning the surface of the meat.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat, in a heavy-based, oven-proof pot or a dutch oven.
Sear the beef in batches of 3 or 4, until browned on both sides. Then, move the beef to a warm plate.
Add the garlic and onion to the pan juices, sautéing until transparent and soft. Be careful not to let the garlic burn, as it easily can if sautéd for too long.
Add in the celery, carrots, and potatoes, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
Stir the flour into the vegetables and potatoes, evenly coating them. The flour helps to thicken the stew down the line.
Stirring occasionally, cook for 2 minutes more. The raw flour smell should disappear.
Pour in the dry stout or dark beer, mixing well to dissolve the flour.
Then add in the brown sugar, if using, tomato paste, thyme, and broth, scraping up any brown bits at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. These brown bits, called fond, help deepen the meaty flavors of soups and stews when incorporated into the broth.
Bring the stew to a simmer, cooking until slightly thickened, for about 5 minutes.
Return the beef back into the pot along with any juices.
Cover the pot partially, then move to the oven and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove it from the oven twice during the cooking process to give it a good stir, then return it to the oven still partially covered.
After the stew has finished cooking, cautiously remove from the oven, then season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Serve with mashed potatoes and garnish with parsley, if desired.