Haunt Stew

6 slices thick-sliced bacon, diced
2 pounds well-marbled beef chuck

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tbsp butter (divided)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste

6 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz bottle pumpkin stout (or Guinness)
15 mini Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in half
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 oz container of beef stock
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bag of frozen peas, thawed

Haunt Stew

1. Heat large cast iron pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Leave the bacon drippings in the pot.

2. Meanwhile trim beef and cut into small cubes. In a large bowl, combine flour with 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add beef and toss to coat.

3. Add the beef cubes in small batches to the pot and brown on all sides. Do not overcrowd the pot or the beef will not brown. Transfer the batch to plate and continue with the remaining beef.

4. After beef is browned (do not clean pot) add 1 tbsp butter to the pot and the onions. Saute for 5 to 8 minutes. Add tomato paste and garlic and sauce for another 2 minutes.

5. Add the beer and deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes. Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

6. Return the beef and and bacon to the to pot. Add beef stock to just cover the beef and vegetables (add a little water if needed). Stir to combine. Cover and reduced heat to low.

7. Meanwhile dice half of butternut squash into cubes. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp melted butter, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast in a preheated oven at 400º for 20-25 minutes until just tender and lightly brown.

8. Check stew at 1 hour and 30 minutes to see if beef is fork tender and potatoes are soft when pierced. If not, continue to cook another 15-20 minutes. During the last five minutes of cooking, add the peas and butternut squash and stir gently to combine and heat through. Serve with some crusty bread or Irish soda bread.