Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Stew Special #6 - Irish Beef & Potato Stew

In honour of St Patty's Day just a few days ago, I decided to make an Irish Stew.  Here's the recipe I used.

Irish Beef and Potato Stew
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 white onion, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Irish stout beer (e.g. Guinness®)
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss beef cubes with flour to coat, then fry in the hot oil until browned. Place the carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic in a large slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the vegetables. Mix together the beef broth and tomato paste and pour into the slow cooker along with the beer.
  2. Cover and cook on High for 6 hours or Low for 8 hours. During the last hour before serving, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water and then stir into the broth. Simmer on the High setting for a few minutes to thicken. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

My husband was off to get his haircut yesterday morning and I asked him, "Oh, by the way, can you go to the liquor store and pick up a bottle of Guiness while you're out?"  "Uhhhhh...OK."  An unusual request from me, since neither of us drink, but he managed to find what the recipe called for.

It was late Saturday night that I realized I was out of carrots, so it became just a beef & potato stew.  Carrots for colour would have been nice, but it wasn't a deal breaker.

Here are the reviews from the Brownlee Test Kitchen!
12 yr old - The meat is sooo tender - I really like it.  Can I have some more?  You barely gave me any.
10 yr old -  It's alright, but I've never really had the desire to try ale.
4 yr old - Making a great shoulder shudder.  I don't like it.  It's too sour.
Husband - It's good.  The meat is tender, but the gravy is a bit sour.  Salt and pepper helps.
Guest (starving student intern from the college we had over for lunch) - It's better than what I would be eating at the cafeteria.  I'm not picky.  I don't have a very refined palate.  (Ummmm......I think that's a compliment?.....)
The Cook -The meat is amazingly tender, but I agree.  The sauce has a sour tang that I'm not keen on.  I guess I wouldn't make a good very good irish beer drinker.

Final vote - Three thumbs up, three down.  Maybe I'll make it again next St Patrick's Day.  Unless there are better irish stew recipes out there.  I'd love to hear if you have any!

P.S  One of my favourite parts of this meal though was the sourdough bread we enjoyed with our stew.  Have you ever seen flour stencilling?  Love it!

1 comment:

  1. Don't really care for the taste of beer myself. We add a cube of dried mushroom boullion as a flavour substitute and red bell pepper or even frozen corn for colour.
    Jaira...great bread modelling!