2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
7 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup red wine
1 cup Guinness
6 cups beef stock (or broth)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried thyme
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (peeled or unpeeled, gentleman’s choice)
1 pound baby red potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (again, gentleman’s choice)
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cups carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large yellow or white onion, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef stew meat and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic cloves and sauté another minute, until fragrant.
2. Add the beef stock, red wine, Guinness, tomato paste, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. When boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
3. In another large pot, melt the butter over medium heat until slightly foaming. Add the potatoes, celery, onion and carrots, sautéing until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the stew has simmered for one hour.
4. Add vegetables to beef stew and simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon cold water until combined. Add slowly to the stew, stirring for 1 minute until thickened. Discard the bay leaves and remove any fat that may have accumulated on top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.