There are two popular meals that you think of when we hear St. Patrick’s Day. One is corned beef and cabbage and the other is Irish stew. Irish stew is what my family loves.
Irish stew was brought over from Ireland when a lot of immigrants came here to flee from the economic devastation. It was originally made with lamb because sheep were plentiful in Ireland. Root vegetables were also plentiful. Over the years different types of meat have been substituted because lamb isn’t as plentiful in the US.
It can be made with either beef or lamb. They are both delicious. The following recipe is more flavorful than the basic recipe. Adjust it accordingly to your family’s likes and dislikes. I think cooking it in the crock pot makes it more delicious than on the stove top because the flavors meld beautifully. A 6 quart crock pot is a good small appliance to use for this recipe.
Mix the following vegetables together and place in the bottom of the slow cooker:
- 6 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
- 4 cups peeled and cubed turnips
- 3 cups peeled and sliced carrots
- Cube 3 pounds beef or lamb stew meat. Sear for about 3 minutes in 1 tablespoon of oil. If you have a cast iron skillet, this is the time to use it. Move meat to the crockpot and place on top of the vegetables.
- Coarsely chop 2 onions. Add onions and 1 tablespoon oil in pan that the meat was cooked and cook for about 7 minutes on a medium heat until they become translucent.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, 2 teaspoon dried thyme, and 2 whole bay leaves.
- Add 1 ½ cups Guiness Beer( or any other stout beer).
- Bring to a simmer and then slowly pour over ingredients in the slow cooker.
- Add 5 cups of beef stock.
- Cook on low for 7 hours.
- Stir 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in ¼ cup water until smooth and add to the slow cooker.
- Add 1/3 cup minced parsley.
- Cook for 30 more minutes.
- Remove bay leaves.
Try the beef one time and then try it again using lamb.
Once you have this, you will want it more than just on St. Pat’s Day.
Try adding some pearl barley.
If you want a tomato base, just add a little tomato paste.
If you don’t have beef broth, substitute water and a cube of beef bouillon.
You could also add celery, leeks, and/or parsnips.
Red wine can also be used as part of the liquid.
So when you are planning a large St. Pat’s Day party, or you are planning for just two, don’t forget this very tasty and easy to make meal. And the best thing is that with a little preparation you can make it a fabulous meal.
For Delicious Irish Stew We Recommend