The history of Irish stew may be disputed, but it is an evolved dish which the people added to as ingredients became available. Sometime around 1800 (and over 200 years after the introduction of the potato to Ireland), certain ingredients became common and the contents of Irish stew became more consistent. Traditionally, you would have found the stew to contain mutton, onions, potatoes, and water. Adding barley, carrots, or turnips was also popular.
Today Irish stew is no longer a peasant dish of leftovers, but rather a hearty and satisfying meal eaten all over the world. Although there is something completely fitting about wandering into a pub for a steaming bowl of stew during a rainy day in Ireland, I have found that this recipe rivals anything I had while visiting the country.
On average, I probably test drive 3-4 new recipes per week, sourced from cookbooks (the older, the better!), magazines, blogs, and online. It is rare I happen across a real gem that I plan on making my “go to” recipe for any particular item. When I say this Irish stew is the best I’ve had, I don’t say that lightly.
The recipe below was found at a wonderful blog called Simply Recipes. The story included along with the recipe was that a friend brought back this recipe from a recent trip to Italy. So, the best Irish stew I’ve ever tasted was tweaked by an Italian. Go figure!
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Please don’t forget to leave feedback for others (star system and comment section) if you try it out. Thanks!
|The Best Irish Stew I’ve Ever Had|
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5lbs well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, 1-inch pieces (I used grass-fed angus)
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups beef stock or beef broth
- 1 cup Guinness beer
- 1 cup of fine red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I used Bourbon Barrel Foods)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter (I used Irish Kerrygold)
- 3lbs russet potatoes, cut into 1/2inch pieces, about 7 cups
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups of 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley to garnish
- Heat olive oil in heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt stew meat and place in pan to brown. Turn as necessary until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Stir all ingredients until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- While the main pot is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onions, and carrots and saute vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- After the main pot has simmered for an hour, add vegetables to the beef mixture. Simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.
- Discard bay leaves.
- Skim surface to remove any excess fat.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with the fresh chopped parsley and serve.