Celebrity Dish: Swervedriver's Jez Hindmarsh's Beef in Guinness


photo courtesy of Tim Bugbee

The Swervedriver drummer and chef extraordinaire (who gives a shout-out to Minneapolis in his new book Rider) generously shares this perfect simmer-all-day winter meal. Multi-talented Jez, who hails from merry-ole England (hence the spelling and lingo in this recipe), is also working on his first cookbook.

Beef in Guinness 2 pds. cheap cut beef (cubed) 1 tbsp flour 9 oz. button mushrooms 1 carrot (fine dice) 1 stick celery (fine dice) 1 onion (fine chopped) 1 bay leaf (fresh if poss.) Salt & black pepper 1oz. butter 2 potatoes (1 fine diced, 1 cut to same sized pieces as mushrooms) 1tbsp veg. oil 2 beef stock cubes 1 small glass of port 2 pints Guinness (you may have to drink some too, so make allowance!) 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tsp sugar 1 tbsp chopped parsley

You could pretty much chuck all this together in a big pot, just covering everything with the Guinness, and simmer it for ages - but this is how to do it 'cheffy' style (i.e.: up it's arse but excellent!). You're going to prepare the ingredients in batches, putting them in the big pot as they become ready. It takes longer, but is definitely worth it. You're trying to get as much depth of flavour into the finished dish as possible, which is why I do it like this:

1) Coat the beef with the flour & fry at high temperature until nicely browned. They say it's to seal it - that's bollocks. It's actually because colouring the meat intensifies the flavour & looks better. Fry a few pieces at a time in oil. If you put too many in at once, the water released means you'll just stew it. It has to fry. As they're done, remove and put into your big stewing pot. No salt at this stage - it'll draw too much of the meat's juice. The flour will stick to the pan and look like it's near burning. Don't worry unless it does! It will eventually help thicken the whole stew.

2) When the meat's all done, deglaze the pan with the port (i.e.: chuck the port into the pan & scrape all the crap off the bottom!), cook off the alcohol and then pour this into the pot.


3) Wipe the pan quickly and add some butter (15g - enough to butter 5 bits of bread). Place on a medium heat. Sautee the mushrooms in the butter with salt and pepper until coloured. Stick them in the pot.

4) Put pan back on flame and add more butter (same again), the carrot, celery & onion. Saute for about a minute, then add salt, pepper, the 1 tsp of sugar & the bay leaf (don't be scared of the pepper - remember steak with pepper sauce is great). Another minute, then add the balsamic. Cook this gently until carrot is softened -about two more minutes. Put all this in the pot.

5) Put the pan back on the heat and pour in about half a pint of Guinness. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat and stir in the stock cubes until dissolved. Pour this into the pot.

6) Bring the big pot up to a boil, and then fold in the potatoes (i.e.: stir them in gently so as not to break anything up). When the pot boils again, add Guinness until it just covers the ingredients. Drink some Guinness.

7) Boil for about a minute then reduce heat to a really slow simmer, put the lid on and leave it for about 2 hours.

8) After about 2 hours, check the seasoning & stir in the parsley. It should be done around now, but if the sauce is a little thin stir in some beurre manie (flour mixed with butter: 2 parts butter to one part flour) a little at a time until the sauce thickens - or add breadcrumbs. If this is the case, simmer again until it thickens to how you want it. Hopefully the fine diced spud will have broken down and done the thickening for you.

You can either serve as a casserole with mashed potato or pasta, with a little fresh chopped parsley sprinkled over it.