Food Chronicles: Irish Beef Stew

Some classic dishes people think of when they hear “Irish” is normally potatoes…. or at least that’s what my sister thought when I first asked her. I also realized a huge food is corn beef, not a favorite of mine, even though my mother always made some for herself for St. Patrick’s Day. My favorite is Irish Stew.

This particular one sounds oh-so-good because it is classic, rustic and has Guinness in it. Can’t get any better than that… well I guess you could serve it in a bread bowl, mmmm. I had a great Irish stew in a bread bowl at a pub once in Pittsburgh, pretty great.

Irish Beef Stew Recipe

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces (NOT extra-lean)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
  • 1 cup of Guinness beer
  • 1 cup of fine red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

METHOD

1 Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

2 While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

3 Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

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