Irish Beef Stew

Traditional Irish Beef Stew Recipe: A Hearty Classic

Irish beef stew is a beloved comfort food, known for its rich, savory flavors and tender chunks of beef. This hearty dish is perfect for warming up on a cold day and is traditionally made with simple, wholesome ingredients. Here’s how to make a classic Irish beef stew that will transport you to the Emerald Isle.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (optional)
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Instructions

1. Prepare the Beef:

  • In a large bowl, season the beef cubes with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the beef and toss to coat evenly.

2. Brown the Beef:

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  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the beef in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Brown the beef on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per batch. Remove the beef and set aside.

3. Sauté the Aromatics:

  • In the same pot, add the chopped onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute until fragrant.

4. Build the Broth:

  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the beef broth and Guinness stout beer (if using), scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and dried thyme.
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5. Simmer the Stew:

  • Return the browned beef to the pot.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover and let it simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the Vegetables:

  • After the stew has simmered for 1 hour, add the carrots, potatoes, parsnips (if using), and celery.
  • Continue to simmer for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender and the beef is fork-tender.

7. Final Touches:

  • Stir in the frozen peas and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed.

8. Serve:

  • Ladle the stew into bowls.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
  • Serve with crusty bread or traditional Irish soda bread for a complete meal.

Tips for the Perfect Irish Beef Stew

  1. Choose the Right Cut: Beef chuck is ideal for stew due to its marbling, which breaks down and becomes tender during slow cooking.
  2. Brown the Beef Well: Browning the beef adds depth of flavor to the stew. Make sure to do it in batches to avoid steaming the meat.
  3. Low and Slow Cooking: Simmering the stew slowly allows the flavors to meld together and the beef to become tender.
  4. Adjust Consistency: If you prefer a thicker stew, you can remove a cup of the stew, blend it, and return it to the pot, or simply let the stew simmer uncovered for a bit longer to reduce the liquid.

This traditional Irish beef stew recipe is sure to become a favorite with its rich flavors and hearty ingredients. Enjoy the comforting warmth and delicious taste of this classic dish!

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