Here in Atlanta, we’re experiencing our biggest snow since about 1993 (measuring six pure, fluffy, delightful inches on the patio furniture). I cannot tell you how much I HEART SNOW DAYS. It’s especially exciting since Mikey is stuck at home, too, and we’re keeping up the unflinchingly rigid Waldrop family tradition of making donuts on snow days (another recipe for another day). The Price is Right comes on in half an hour … I love my life.

All this calls for a killer comfort food recipe. I made this for the first time on Saturday, and our tongues beat our brains out trying to get to it. It took several hours to make, but every hearty bite made the time and effort worthwhile.

Makes 6 big servings
Prep & cook time is about 3 hours (see busy day option at bottom)

olive oil
3 lbs beef stew meat
1 onion
½ teaspoon dried rosemary (or one sprig fresh rosemary)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped in chunks
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut in ½” chunks
8 oz portobello mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons flour
11-oz bottle Guinness (or if you have the 15-oz cans, one of those works, too)
beef stock (about 1 cup)
8 oz extra sharp white cheddar, shredded (I like Cabot Seriously Sharp White Cheddar)
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
1 egg, beaten (with a splash of water for egg wash)

1. In your biggest oven-safe pot or dutch oven, brown beef in hot oil in batches (it doesn’t have to cook all the way through). It might take as many as six batches, but your patience will be rewarded. Be sure to not overcrowd the pot or the beef won’t brown. Once browned, move to separate bowl.

2. Add a little more oil to the pot and sauté onions until tender, about 5 minutes, then add garlic and rosemary and sauté another 2–3 minutes. Add carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, butter, Worcestershire, salt, pepper, and flour, and stir to combine. Add beef (WITH juices in the bottom of the bowl), Guinness, and enough beef stock so liquid level is just below beef/vegetables, not fully immersed. Bring to a boil and transfer to oven.

3. Braise at 350° for 90 minutes, until the sauce is good and thick. Remove from oven and stir in half of shredded cheese (about 1 cup). Increase oven temp to 375°.

4. Pour stew into a greased 2.5–3-quart baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Roll puff pastry sheet so it’s big enough to cover top and to create a seal on the edges of the dish. Press puff pastry to edges of baking dish, and brush puff pastry top with egg wash.

5. Line a jellyroll pan with aluminum foil and place dish on it to bake. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown and stew is bubbling around edges. Make sure you have some good crusty bread with which to soak up every drop of the delicious Guinness-y stewiness.


Brown beef, then cook onions/garic/rosemary in pot. Combine this and everything else through beef stock in a Crock Pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Then, stir in half the cheese (about 1 cup) and pick up with step 4. I haven’t tried this yet, but fully intend to in the next few weeks. Can’t see why it wouldn’t work well for a weeknight dinner.

No pictures to share … sorry … we plowed into it too quickly.