Sunday Supper: Beef, Onion and Porter Stew Recipe

Sunday Supper

Cooking projects for people who'd like nothing more than to spend a sunday afternoon surrounded by the wonderful aromas of the kitchen.

Sunday Supper: Beef, Onion and Porter Stew Recipe

[Photograph: Sydney Oland]

Editor's note: Each Saturday afternoon we bring you a Sunday Supper recipe. Why on Saturday? So you have time to shop and prepare for tomorrow.

When it comes to stews there are those who like them full of many ingredients, and those who do not. And to me, when it's cold outside and the weather is calling for comfort food like a good beef stew, the simpler the better. Now that doesn't mean this stew is dull; to me, picking out just the right porter to suit the stew is part of the fun. And because there are so few ingredients the porter plays an important role. I recommend the Berkshire Brewing Company Coffeehouse Porter, but use your own favorite. As always, it's best to cook with a beer you're also excited about drinking.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 25 minutes
  • Total time:1 hour 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 -2 pounds of beef stew meat
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4-6 shallots, chopped
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups porter
  • 3-5 cups beef stock
  • chopped parsley (to garnish)


  1. 1.

    Season the beef stew meat with salt and pepper. Heat a large drizzle of oil over medium high heat in large pot and sear beef in small batches until all sides are browned. Remove from pot and reserve. Place pot back on heat and add butter; once butter has melted, add onions and shallots and cook, stirring often, until onions and shallots are soft, about 7 minutes. Add reserved beef and all juices, bunch of thyme, and porter, then add beef stock to cover. Bring to a simmer then turn heat to low, partially cover with lid, and let cook until tender and cooking liquid is thickened, about 1 1/2 hours. Add additional stock as needed so that stew does not dry out.

  2. 2.

    Once stew is thickened and beef is tender, season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve with potatoes and a glass of porter – if there’s any left.