I post this recipe for Irish Beef Stew every March, as a nod to St. Patrick’s day and all things Irish. In the past 2 years, the photo and recipe photo have made the rounds on the web, seemingly acquiring a life of their own, attracting a following, favorited, pinged, tweeted and pinned. They are more popular than me. According to my year-end stats, for the past 2 years Irish Beef Stew was the top ranked TasteFood blog post of 2012 and 2013. Pretty impressive for a no-nonsense beef stew in a cast-iron green pot. Perhaps it’s due to the bottle of Guinness dumped in the stock – or maybe a touch of luck of the Irish. No matter the case, it’s March once again and St. Paddy’s Day is rapidly approaching. In keeping with tradition, I share this hearty stew, accompanied by a few recipes to create an Irish feast.
Irish Beef Stew
Extra carrots or parsnips may be substituted for the rutabaga. Serves 6.
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut into 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
1 large carrot, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large parsnip, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium rutabaga, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
Preheat the oven to 325°F (170 C). Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Add the beef in batches in one layer without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef. Add 1 tablespoon oil and the garlic to the pot. Saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring, about 30 seconds. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the stock, beer, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be 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 the 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 the carrot, parsnip, onion and rutabaga. Lightly season with salt. Saute the vegetables until they brighten in color and begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove the beef from oven. Skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Add the 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: