4 to 6 servings
In a large heavy pot, brown meat of choice thoroughly in hot oil over moderate heat; remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add chopped onion and saute until onion is just tender but not browned. Return meat to pot. Add 2 tablespoons flour, mixing thoroughly with meat and onion; continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently so that meat and onions don't stick to pot. Gradually add Guinness Stout, beef bouillon cube, water, bouquet garni, and brown sugar; season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and gently simmer, cover ajar, for 2 to 3 hours, or until meat is fork tender. About 30 to 35 minutes before end of cooking time, add carrots, potatoes and celery to stew. the (For a thicker stew, may wish to add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour blended with 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water to stew during last 5 minutes of cooking; cook until stew is thickened and bubbly hot.) Just before serving, adjust seasoning to taste. Remove bouquet garni and discard just before serving. Ladle stew into soup bowls or mugs; garnish each serving with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Note: May omit oil, if desired; liberally coat pot with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray.
Note: Alcohol content will evaporate during cooking; Guinness Stout may be eliminated, if desired. However, flavor will not be the same. Add 3 cups beef broth or water to replace Guinness Stout. May also use 3 cups Legend Porter or other dark beer or ale in place of Guinness Stout.
Note: Omit bouillon cube if using pork or lamb.
Variation: Add 8 to 12 ounces fresh medium mushrooms, whole or each cut in half, to stew about 15 minutes before end of cooking time.