I posted this recipe for Irish Beef Stew last March, as a nod to St. Patrick’s day and all things Irish. In one year, the post with photo has made the rounds on the web, seemingly acquiring a life of its own, attracting a following, favorited, pinged, tweeted and pinned. It’s more popular than me. According to my year-end stats, Irish Beef Stew was the top ranked TasteFood blog post of 2012. Pretty impressive for a no-nonsense beef stew in a cast-iron green pot. Perhaps it’s due to the bottle of Guinness dumped into the stock. No matter the case, now that it’s March once again, I share this deeply flavorful stew, fortified with stout and sturdy root vegetables. Who says rock stars need to be flashy and frivolous?
Irish Beef Stew
As most stews go, this is a humble and forgiving recipe. Add your favorite root vegetables and serve with mashed potatoes. Serves 6.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups stout beer
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
3 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large yellow onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large rutabaga, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
1 large parsnip, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.) Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Add beef in batches to pot in one layer, without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef. Return beef to pot and add the garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook stirring, 1 minute. Add stock, beer, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be just covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock or beer to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Transfer pot to oven. Bake until meat is tender, about 2 hours.
While the meat is cooking heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and lightly sprinkle with salt. Saute the vegetables until they brighten in color and begin to take on a golden hue, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove beef from oven. Skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Add vegetables to the beef, stirring to combine. Return beef to the oven, uncovered. Bake one hour, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is slightly reduced, the vegetables are tender and the meat is fork-tender. Remove and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.
Round out your St. Patrick’s Day menu with these recipes from TasteFood: