I wanted to make a good Irish Stew as soon as soon as we returned home from Ireland. How nice it would have been to buy the ingredients at the Dingle, Ireland, Farmers Market. But I found great local produce here in Durham, North Carolina.
I didn't have an Irish Stew recipe that suited me, but I found one on the Internet and then adapted it to make the stew I had in mind. Here are the ingredients I bought to make the stew.
- 8-10 nice firm red potatoes cut in bite-size chunks
- 6 carrots, peeled, sliced into thick chunks
- 4 stalks celery, cut in chunks
- 4 bay leaves
- 3 pounds stew beef (chuck) cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 cup flour, put into a bowl to roll meat
- garlic powder
- olive oil
- 1 large onion , diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 32 ounce box of beef broth
- 1 envelope of onion soup mix
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 (12 ounce) Irish beer (A stout is nice!)
Note that some Irish farm folks might use lamb instead of beef as thousands of sheep can be seen as you drive through the beautiful contryside of quilted emerald green fields. They also raise beef, but you see more sheep than cows as you drive through the country. Tis lovely!
This recipe requires a large crock pot and will provide at least 10 servings, so you may wish to halve the recipe. And it is good enough to have!
Put your vegetable chunks in the bottom of your crock pot. All those pretty potatoes, carrots, and celery. Throw 2 bay leaves on top.
Pour a couple of Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, set it on a burner of your stove and turn the heat to a medium setting. Mix the flour salt, pepper, and garlic pepper in a bowl. Coat each chunk of beef in flour and brown the chunks of beef. You'll likely need to brown the meat in 3 batches. Add more olive oil to the skillet for each batch. Toss the browned beef into the crock pot. Keep the skillet hot.
Add the onion and garlic to the same skillet and saute the onions until they're translucent. Then scoop the onions into the crock pot. Then pour a little beef broth in the skillet to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape up the brown bits and pour these goodies in the crock pot.
Mix the remaining beef broth with the tomato sauce, onion soup mix, and remaining seasonings. Add this goodness to your crock pot. Now pour a nice 12 ounce Irish beer intpo the crock pot. If you figure you need a little more liquid, you can open a second beer. Pour a little into the crock pot and drink the rest!
Now you can cook the stew in your crock pot for 8 lovely hours and sniff your day away getting hungrier and hungrier for a golden bowl of Irish Stew. If you don't have 8 hours, start the crock pot on the high setting for an hour or so and then turn it down to low.
Serve this with Brown Irish soda bread. If you don't have the time to bake the bread, eat the stew with a crusty peasant bread. Serve the stew with your favorite beverage and enjoy!
Two pictures follow; 1) the Irish Stew and, 2) a picture from an Irish Pub where you might order a similar stew and enjoy some traditional Irish music while you're eating.
These locals gather at one pub just about every night to make lovely music. The guy on the drum uses about a 4" bone rod wedged between the little index finger (over his 2nd and 3rd finger) and moves his hand back and forth rapidly to make 2 beats and does it so fast that your eyes can't follow it. He is very, very good. Many, if not most, Irish play instruments and sing. There are pubs all over the place and about all of them offer traditional Irish music every night. This is an Ennis pub. We stayed in Ennis one night in route to Dingle. Ennis is a nice small, old fashioned Irish town. Notice that one person was drinking a beer, 3 were drinking coffee, and 1 an orange juice. A good deal more patrons were drinking a Guinnis, but a t surprising number of customers were drinking coffee or a soft drink. Pubs are family places in Ireland. You'll see children their with their parents. We heard two little Irish girls, one in each of two pubs, rise to sing a ballad to the customers. I didn't see any tipsy people in any of the many Irish pubs we visited.