Guinness Beef Stew with Bitter Chocolate

Guinness Beef Stew with Bitter Chocolate

I haven’t eaten a piece of cow meat for a long time. Translated: I haven’t had beef for months. Yes. It’s madness. Think of that as a teaser, ponder upon that ridiculousness for a bit whilst I beat around the bush…and no, I’m hardly the vegetarian.

The past week’s weather has been drop dead gorgeous and hopefully mentioning that hasn’t jinxed it for this week (probably has by now). Sunny and beautiful as it was, however, I got deceived by it all a couple of times thinking a lighter jacket was more than warm enough for me to step out into the sun. Mistake. More often than not, that first step out into the cold, similar to a newborn baby’s noisy entrance into the world, was followed by general shrieking, long strings of cussing and unattractive groans and grrrs from me. Chanting ’suck it up’ in my head, I spend about 5 mins racing through the cold to warm up and literally walking only in the sunny areas, avoiding all shadowy spots at all costs to get as much warmth as possible. Through the day, I’ll catch myself jerking uncontrollably when a big cold gust of wind comes a-blowing. Travelling between uni, work and home then, I find myself constantly thinking of warm, comfort foods as a way to encourage myself and as incentive to get those icy feet moving quickly to take me home. It certainly is most effective and definitely keeps the strangers from talking to you (I’m that engrossed in my thoughts you see).

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I am happy nonetheless with this generous amount of sun we’ve got the past week and it has made the week so much bearable despite the looming deadlines and the awful stack of readings to do. And as the saying goes, good things come in pairs, so did a nice surprise come along with this beautiful sun – some very high (for The Sugar Bar at least) views for 4th March. Because they exceeded my expectations, I rewarded myself with some lovely fresh and tender stewing beef from Waitrose and got set to working on a nice hot stew to keep that bone-chilling cold away as well. In Chinese culture, having meat on the table is representative of how fortunate a family is and is partially reflective of the wealth of that family. In Korea, beef is quite a luxury and eating it becomes an occasion. So I suppose, it wasn’t such a strange thing to reward myself with beef after all! Especially since I hardly ever buy red meats in my weekly shop, finally buying some made it feel all that more special. It’s not that I don’t eat red meat. I actually love a good medium rare steak and other red meats like pork and veal. It’s just that I think cooking red meats require more effort and so never really bother to get them since I can never be sure when I have the time to cook a meal or not and dare not risk having nice meat go bad in the fridge.

I did think at first that a 22 year old like me should probably be buying nail lacquers and pretty notebooks as a reward not packets of bloody red meat from the delicatessen. It just didn’t quite fit the bill but then again, I doubt that ever bothers me; and I’m quite happy to say foodbloggers are a unique species of their own with priorities set right to a tee, fine senses highly tuned and dedicated to the arts of eating, cooking and food-shopping. So why not the beef?! Just chuck it in the shopping basket already now! By the time I’d finished my shopping and was eagerly waiting to pay at the check-outs, so hungry I was all bloodshot eyes and nearly frothing at the mouth, the basket was exploding with root vegetables, baguettes, bitter chocolate, beer and herbs, etc. I didn’t need a sign on my forehead to alert the passersby and fellow Waitrose shoppers that this Diva here was as dangerous as a rabid dog and as ravenous. Minimal chit chat with the lovely lady at the checkout till, quick goodbye and outta there like a flash. Then home, out comes the chopping board. Bang bang chop chop chop and turn on the hob.

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Then here comes the biggest joke of my life. Check recipe – stew needs to cook for at least 6 hours. Ok, put lid on and move on to ‘light’ snacking. Had to reprimand myself for not putting the stew on earlier. Panic not though as here’s when I whack out another saying: Good things come to those who wait.

I waited.

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And when I was done waiting, it was good. Thoroughly impressed with this recipe which is such a great find from The Parsley Thief blog. Definitely one of those that I’ve saved for future use, especially for meal times with the family. I think Dad will be very happy to find a stew like this at the dinner table. What a meat man. Not really a Guinness man but he’ll appreciate the blokish-ness of this dish. Plus bitter chocolate sure gives it such a cool edginess I think the rest of the girlies in my house will adore it. Mum may find that addition dubious – she’s the only woman I know who doesn’t like chocolate. Real tough to please when it comes to homemade birthday cakes I tell you – but this isn’t a chocolatey stew and it’s not so strong like a Mole Poblano. I don’t think I could really taste the chocolate but I bet I would taste a real difference and have seen a big difference in colour if I hadn’t added it.

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Something I discovered when making this, Green & Black’s Cook’s 72% dark chocolate is heaven. It’s even better than the dark chocolate from their regular range, in my opinion. It might be because it’s a lot richer and more bitter for cooking purposes than the eating chocolate which is totally up my alley. It was good. I might just stick to buying Cook’s chocolate from now on to satiate my dark chocolate cravings.

Just sent this in to Daily Spud’s Paddy’s Day Food Parade event too in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. I can’t wait to see the round-up. Yum yum Irishness.

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32 Responses to “Guinness Beef Stew with Bitter Chocolate”
The Cooking NinjaThe Cooking Ninja Says:
March 9th, 2021 at 1:12 pm
LOL! I’m not a chocolaty woman. I used to eat them a lot in my teenage years and early 20s, then suddenly I have no cravings for them anymore. I’ll eat one or two but that’s about it. I don’t miss them even. LOL! I’m not into chocolate cake, mousse, brownie, muffins, even chocolate cookies. I’m not even hot on chocolate chips cookies but hub loves all these so does little diva. 😉 She loves dark chocolate since she was a year old (MIL introduced it to her). Have to taste this stew to be convinced that chocolate goes with it. Hard to imagine chocolate in savoury. 😉

Tangled NoodleTangled Noodle Says:
March 9th, 2021 at 1:36 pm
The weather here has also been gentling but as they say, ‘once bitten, twice shy’ – we’ve had these teaser March days, only to be walloped by an early spring blizzard. Good thing I can turn to this gorgeous Guinness stew for comfort! I’ll wait 6 hours for something this good . . . And I love the use of chocolate, which I’ve added to a savory dish only in – yup – mole! The stew is all-around spectacular!

Great meat is always a treat! But you’ve reminded me it’s been a while since I’ve made any cut other than ground. Time to remedy . . .

ManggyManggy Says:
March 9th, 2021 at 1:41 pm
Actually, I don’t get to eat beef that often either. My grandmother hates that meat and we have to feed everyone, so… (But it’s still not rare, just uncommon.) The stew looks lovely. I actually haven’t even had mole poblano before, but this looks like a good stepping-stone.

divadiva Says:
March 9th,  at 2:00 pm
TheCookingNinja: Yes I agree, especially cause you first associate chocolate with milk chocolate probably and that can’t be savoury at all! but if you think hot chocolate, the dark types usually have salt in them which make ‘em taste great. After I had a mole poblano, I feel braver in trying more things with chocolate now!

Tangled Noodle: I haven’t even had ground meat for very long. Actually now that you’ve mentioned it, i feel like I should make bolognise. It’s been a while. Hmmm.. 😀

Manggy: My dad loves beef so when I’m home he finds every excuse to have a nice barbie on the patio with loads of meat. Talk about high cholesterol. Tut tut. Thank you. i hope you try mole poblano soon because I truly love that dish! Might hafta go back to my nearest Mexican for some now.


cattycatty Says:
March 9th,  at 2:20 pm
OMG i havent even read the post yet (I promise I will) but just looked at that first pic and I wanted to dive right in. Looks amazing and hearty and delicious and PERFECT for this shit-ass weather we are having! You’re a genius, little diva! x

Sarah, Maison CupcakeSarah, Maison Cupcake Says:
March 9th,  at 2:21 pm
This looks incredible, I must make something like this for my husband. I never thought of chocolate and guinness in a stew (although I do have a cake plan hatching…)

Daily SpudDaily Spud Says:
March 9th,  at 2:36 pm
Oh Diva – can I include this in my Paddys Day Food Parade round up next week ( ?

It would be utterly perfect for it.

divadiva Says:
March 9th,  at 2:58 pm
catty: You crack me up dear. How easily you are teased with pictures of food. 😀 Yes totally ’shit-ass’ like you said and as aforementioned, I’ve totally jinxed it for this week. Check out the grey.

Daily Spud: Go for it! Have just put up the St Paddy’s logo from your blog and emailed you the links and photo attachment. Thank you Daily Spud!


RosaRosa Says:
March 9th, at 3:47 pm
A divine looking stew! I love the addition of beer and chocolate. I bet it is very flavorful!



FlavorBoulevardFlavorBoulevard Says:
March 9th,  at 5:34 pm
Wait, so you added chocolate to your stew? My god, my American friends should totally read this. They laugh at the chocolate bar with bacon bits in it.
Anyway, my mom is also not into chocolate at all. I wonder if that induced chocolate indulgence in her children.

cattycatty Says:
March 9th,  at 5:49 pm
Ok I’m back and I read the post like I promised I would 🙂 HONEY you jinxed us and we had grey today! LOL what are you doing?!?! anyway, nevermind, that stew will keep you warm. I think the recipe sounds divine and also, of course it’s totally fine to buy a lump of beef over nail polish! I mean, cooking ruins all that manicure anyway 😉

divadiva Says:
March 9th,  at 6:23 pm
FlavorBoulevard: I love sweet and savoury but isn’t that whole sweet and bacon combination a very American thing anyway? LOL. Yea found this recipe and had to try it because the only ’stew’ with chocolate in it I’d ever tasted was a Mole Poblano. And that,actually was so tasty! You might be on to something. The origins of the chocolate fetish….

MeetaMeeta Says:
March 9th, at 6:30 pm
chocolate and guiness + beef yes this is heaven right here. perfect!

Laura @ Hungry and FrozenLaura @ Hungry and Frozen Says:
March 9th,  at 6:50 pm
On the other side of the world, we’re having fairly similar weather as summer ends – warm and bright but coooold in the shadows. I love the look of this recipe – and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve breezily started something without really thoroughly reading the recipe through. Looks like it was definitely worth the wait. Yay for magical Guinness!

naominaomi Says:
March 9th,  at 6:52 pm
You had me at Guinness and beef, add chocolate and I’m a slave to the bowl. Wow and YUMM-O!

Su-yinSu-yin Says:
March 9th,  at 7:20 pm
Am glad you managed to decide on the photos in the end 🙂 And it looks absolutely mouth watering! Perfect for the cold.

I love G&B’s cooks chocolate, and always have a stash of it in my kitchen. And don’t worry I choose food shopping over nail laquers too. 😛

StellaStella Says:
March 9th,  at 9:16 pm
This sounds so wonderful-best St. Patty’s post I’ve seen thus far!

noobcooknoobcook Says:
March 10th, 0 at 3:00 am
I’ve been wanting to make a stout beef stew for the longest time now. the touch of chocolate is just wicked. this is the ultimate comfort food!

MarisaMarisa Says:
March 10th,  at 10:39 am
Man that looks SO good. Wouldn’t mind a big heaping bowlful for lunch.

MowieMowie Says:
March 10th, at 11:17 am
What a gorgeous combination of flavours hon! Too bad they didn’t serve this at Sketch. Add a bit more chocolate and you’ve got dessert! =) So nice seeing you again the other day, where are we going next? x

SarkaSarka Says:
March 11th,  at 2:31 am
Oh yum, beef stew with chocolate! I love it. I added chocolate to my Chilli con carne once and it was delicious too! 😉

Carolyn JungCarolyn Jung Says:
March 11th,  at 2:56 am
I’ll gladly have your Mom’s share of this if she doesn’t want it, since I love ANYTHING with chocolate. 😉

Ellie (Almost Bourdain)Ellie (Almost Bourdain) Says:
March 11th,  at 9:59 am
Guinness + Chocolate = Winning formula! I absolutely love this recipe 🙂

MayaMaya Says:
March 11th,  at 12:26 pm
I adore mole pablano. I don’t consume any beef – maybe with chicken?

FlavorBoulevardFlavorBoulevard Says:
March 11th,  at 7:21 pm
@Diva: I don’t really know if that sweet and bacon is an American thing, but a lot of the Americans I know say “ew” to anything they haven’t had or think is weird, even rabbits and ducks… It’s sad sometimes because I can’t share my food stories with them.

Girl JapanGirl Japan Says:
March 12th,  at 5:33 am
OMG that stew looks intoxicatingly yummy… I reminds me so much of Mole, chocolate and beef go very well together. I don’t eat red meat much either.. only in tiny, tiny amounts during the week, it is rather expensive here in Japan. (The Japanese beef, that is).

Chef ChuckChef Chuck Says:
March 13th,  at 12:27 pm
Very interesting flavor, I am sure!

JojoJojo Says:
March 14th,  at 9:46 pm
Wow, that stew must have been delicious. Guinness and dark chocolate – now that’s a real adult dish. And I love adult dishes with a bitter nuance.

“I did think at first that a 22 year old like me should probably be buying nail lacquers and pretty notebooks as a reward not packets of bloody red meat from the delicatessen.” – I laughed 😀

Paddy’s Day Food ParadePaddy’s Day Food Parade Says:
March 17th,  at 1:20 pm
[…] I saw that Kid Diva from The Sugar Bar had some Guinness Beef Stew with Bitter Chocolate on the go over at her place, I knew that it would have to make its way into the parade. She says […]

AlessioAlessio Says:
March 17th,  at 4:38 pm
As a sort of mirror to TheCookingNinja’s comment, I am not a beer guy but I am surely into chocolate in savory. For me it is one of the most underestimated ingredients for savory dishes, I have developed lately a couple of recipes that features it in not-totally-sweet dress and I love it! It is even good for your salt intake (I find that sauces with chocolate need much less salt than otherwise). And what to say about the great meat caramelisation tastes and chocolate?? Umami galore! I’m sold to your stew my friend, next time we dine together you better cook this one 😀

tigerfishtigerfish Says:
March 18th,  at 5:23 am
I’m all for dark chocolate. One huge bar in my carry-on whenever I travel as the in-flight meals are just too YUCKS! Now, adding those chocolate into the stew sounds really new to me.

[email protected] Says:
March 30th, 2021 at 4:45 am
Chocolate and a nice rich beer what an amazing recipe. This recipe sounds so comforting I will have to give it a try when it starts to get cold again. 🙂