Thursday, December 9, 2010

Irish Stew

We interrupt this puppy blog to bring you a special announcement: Irish Stew is delicious.  Thank you.

Oh, okay.  Fiiiine.  I will write a real post.

I have heard from multiple people that after you've been cooking from your family, it isn't the cooking that wears you down, it's the meal planning.  After thousands and thousands of meals, it can get exhausting having to decide what everyone has for dinner.  The only solution I've heard of is having someone else make up the meal plan for the week for you so that you don't have to wrack your brain.  Plus, as an added bonus at least one of your wards will be happy with dinner.

Well, thankfully I haven't gotten to the point where I am sick of meal planning (or cooking for that matter).  In fact, John suggests things and at least half the time I say "Yes, honey, that would be nice" and make something else.  If I don't feel like cooking it or eating it, we are not likely to be having it.

Over Thanksgiving John mentioned a couple of times how much he liked Irish Stew, and that got me in the mood.  So the day we returned from Pennsylvania I scoured the web for Irish Stew recipes (there aren't many, honestly) and made us this warm treat.

I can't say what makes something "Irish stew" as opposed to beef stew, but this recipe includes a cup of Guinness, so I feel pretty confident I can call it an Irish stew.  I've been to the Guinness factory in Dublin, actually.  And drank a pint of Guinness on the top of the factory.  Oh wait, I just took a few sips and decided I didn't want to drink a beer as thick as a milkshake.

This soup is the definition of hearty.  And delicious.  I strongly recommend serving it with crusty bread on a cold evening.  This also happens to be one of those recipes that is even better the next day.  Gotta love those.  Now go out and make some Irish stew for your husband and pretend you did it to appease his wishes, when really you just had a craving.

Irish Stew
Adapted from Simply Recipes

1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 pounds beef stew meat (not lean, or else it will be tough)
6 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef broth
1 cup Guinness
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups peeled carrots cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add beef pieces (lightly salted) that are cut into 1/2 inch pieces to the pan.  Do not crowd so that the pieces can brown - work in batches if necessary.  Brown the pieces on all sides, this takes about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.  Add in beef broth, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves.  Stir mixture and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, covered, for an hour.  Stir occasionally.

While the mixture simmers melt butter in a large pot.  Add potatoes, onion, and carrots.  Saute until golden brown, about 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and wait until stew has simmered for an hour, then add vegetables to stew and simmer, uncovered, for 40 minutes, until everything is tender.  Discard bay leaves.  Skim fat off the top of the stew (tiling the pan helps) and discard.  Add salt and pepper to taste (mine needed a bit of salt at this point).

1 comment:

  1. I really do enjoy cooking but it's definitely the meal planning that drives me nuts.


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