Jim Franco
Total Time
4 Hours 30 Mins
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Rich with ale and caramelized onions, this stew provides a thick, hearty base for the fluffy white dumplings that are dropped in at the end of cooking. Prep and Cook Time: about 4 hours, 30 minutes.

How to Make It

Step 1

In a large bowl, toss beef with 3 tbsp. flour, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. Add enough beef to pot to form a single layer (about 1/3 of beef), being careful not to overcrowd pot. Brown meat on all sides, about 7 minutes total per batch. Transfer to a large bowl and brown remaining beef in 2 batches. If meat or pan juices start to scorch, reduce heat.

Step 2

Add 1 bottle ale to pot, scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Pour ale over reserved beef and return empty pot to medium-high heat.

Step 3

Add remaining tbsp. oil to pot. Add onions and 2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have a hint of gold color, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, raise heat to medium-high, stir in 3 tbsp. flour, and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, reserved beef and ale, remaining bottle of ale, and carrots. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 3 hours.

Step 4

About 40 minutes before serving, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, stir together remaining 2 cups flour, green onions, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work cold butter into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal with some pea-size pieces. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg. Gently fold wet ingredients into dry, mixing until a very shaggy dough forms. If more liquid is needed, add additional buttermilk 1 tbsp. at a time. Gently form dough into 12 equal balls and drop into stew. Cover pot and cook 20 to 30 minutes, or until dumplings are fluffy and cooked through. Let sit 15 minutes before serving; stew will thicken as it cools.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Ratings & Reviews

Add brown sugar to taste at the end

November 06, 2016
May be bitter, depending on the beer you use. Add brown sugar to taste when you're finished and it's delicious.

biewel's Review

February 15, 2013

hrwoman's Review

January 16, 2009
We loved this dish. We had friends over the first time I made it and now it is a popular request! I used chives once instead of green onion and it came out great!

cookingmama28's Review

July 28, 2009
i really like this dish. It is so good. I usually add ketchup at the end to make it like stew. I dont like tomatos in there but the ketchup gives it a rich flavor. I also sub broth for beer if I dont have any on hand and it still turns out excellent. Thanks for a great recipe

RubyB08's Review

November 10, 2008
This is a really great dish. I would have given it 5 stars but I didn't follow the recipe to a t. The recipe calls for WAY too much salt. I only used 1 and 3/4 teaspoons. I felt like it was just the right amount. Other than calling for too much salt, I think this recipe is great!

jesnbryce's Review

November 12, 2008
The best stew I have ever had!

foody76's Review

November 30, 2008
Not good. SAVE YOURSELF THE FOUR PLUS HOURS and do not make this stew. You will be disappointed. I followed the recipe exactly except I cut back on the salt as suggested by others. It tasted beyond bitter. I should have known as it called for 24 oz. of beer and no beef broth to temper the bitterness. Halfway through I tried to save it with some tomato paste, beef broth, worcestershire sauce, and a little sugar which helped tremendously. Sunset recipes are usually solid, this one fell FAR short especially for how long it takes.

Bingwald's Review

October 08, 2012
My husband loved it. I liked it, but I thought it was missing something. Then again, I'm not a stew fan and I've been eating the leftovers. Couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe a bay leaf and/or some other herb. I used Guiness, but that's my favorite beer.

jessmclean's Review

December 11, 2008
This recipe is delicious!!! I find an excuse to make it every winter or fall for the last few years and everyone loves it. the taste of the stew really depends on the beer/ale (being that it's the only liquid added) that you decide to use so choose wisely! It's easy to make so don't be afraid to try it!