Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Irish Stew

When I first saw this recipe for a stove-top stew, I thought "Well I'll just adapt this to the crockpot. That would be A LOT easier." Well my schedule didn't allow it (I'll admit it; I overslept!) so I knew I'd be making this the way the recipe directed; on the stove-top. And I am SO GLAD I did! I've always been a little dubious about recipes that have you brown the meat before stewing it (crockpot or otherwise) but I am now a believer! The browning of the meat, and the sauteing of the vegetables adds so much flavor. This method does take a little more time and energy than just throwing everything in the crockpot, but it's worth it - I promise the end result will be like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

As you can tell, I'm a little excited about this stew - even though I've already eaten it for 2 meals, I can't stop thinking about how good it is. This will be making regular appearances on our dinner schedule (and I'm secretly hoping for a few more weeks of cool weather just so I can make this stew again). I hope you will try this for St. Patrick's Day! It's especially good with beer bread.

Start by sauteing the bacon in a Dutch Oven. I like to cut it up before I throw it in the pan.

Once the bacon is cooked, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate.

Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large ziptop bag. Add the beef cubes and toss to coat them on all sides.

Now add the beef to the pan and the bacon drippings

and saute until browned on all sides.

You'll have some floury-beefy stuff on the bottom of the pan - that's good - it will help thicken the stew later. Remove the beef to a bowl then add the oil to the pan. Add the carrots and celery,


and mushrooms

and saute for several minutes. Add the garlic

and saute for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste

and stir to coat all the vegetables. Add the beef broth (and beer, if you're using it)

then add the bay leaf, rosemary, thyme

and parsley.

Add the beef back to the stew

(looks good already!)

then add the bacon back in,

and bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir it up good to scrape a bit of the floury stuff off the bottom of the pan - that will help thicken the stew. If it's looking too thick for you, just add more broth or a bit of water. Add the potatoes

and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for about 1/2 hour or until the potatoes and beef are tender. (At this stage, if it's not thick enough for you, dissolve 1 Tbsp. cornstarch into 1 Tbsp. water and add to the stew to thicken it up. Mine was plenty thick, and I think yours will be too, if you've been scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan!) Finally, add the peas

and cook and stir just for a few minutes to heat the peas through. Discard the bay leaf. Try to put this in bowls before devouring...

Get more inspiration from Tasty Tuesday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday (another one!), What's Cooking Wednesday , Real Food Wednesday and This Week's Cravings, Food on Friday.

Irish Stew

4 bacon strips, diced
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pound beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1 cup beer, or additional beef broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
3/4 cup frozen peas

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels using a slotted spoon. In a large ziptop plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add beef, and shake to coat. Brown beef in the bacon drippings; remove and set aside.

In the same pan, saute the carrots, mushrooms, onion and celery until tender. Add the garlic and saute 2 more mintues. Stir in tomato paste until the vegetables are coated. Add the broth (and beer if you're using it), bay leaf, thyme, parsley and rosemary. Return beef and bacon to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and scraping up flour from bottom of the pan to thicken the stew.

Add potatoes. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1/2 hour or until potatoes and beef are tender. Add peas, heat through. Discard bay leaf. Serves 6.


  1. This looks amazing! I actually prefer stews/soups where the vegetables and meat are sauteed/browned first. I am going to try this for St. Patrick's Day...thanks for sharing it!

  2. Delicious! We have an Irish Stew that's similar to this but the bacon seems to put this one over the top. Yum.

  3. We are hosting a linky party THIS WEEK'S CRAVINGS with "Everything GREEN for St. Patrick's Day". We would LOVE for you to link up this amazing recipe!


  4. Your stew looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog...I look forward to browsing through your recipes.

  5. that looks great! thanks for the detailed photos and recipe writeup!

  6. Hi Sara, I'm coming over from Delectable Tuesdays where I am your "neighbor" linky (# 16)! Happy to find you--this stew looks absolutely delicious! I am definitely making this and will serve with Irish soda bread or your beer bread and a green salad! I'm your new follower. Stop by when you have a chance. Linda

  7. Just Stopping by from TMTT. What a great recipe on these cooler spring days and very appropriate for St. Patty's Day. while I'm here I wanted to invite you to check out my Iron Chef Challenge This month's themed ingredient is canned tomatoes, so link up a recipe using those and you could win a prize. It should be a lot of fun, hope you can join us!!

  8. At first the stew looked like Shepperd's pie in stew form (and I love Shepperd's Pie), turns out that it is a bit more complex than that. Still looks amazing and I would really like to try this.


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