Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Irish Beef Stew

I'm sick :-(

I went to bed last night with a sore throat and woke up this morning with a cold.

Yesterday there wasn't a single cloud in the sky and the temperature was warm, today the weather is super gloomy and freezing cold. I stayed in bed, taking my meds and drinking fluids all morning and then came across this recipe. Instant craving, I had to have it.

M and I bought a casserole at Victoria's Basement because it was a *super* deal. We have been looking for one for a while but they were all too expensive. Well this one from Benzer was $450 marked down to $70, so we took it home and I had been looking for a stew recipe for some time in order to honor the pot's maiden voyage. Here is where the Irish Beef Stew comes in. I made tiny adjusments to the recipe above, so I will describe my version here.


  • 2 generous tablespoons of butter 
  • 2 chopped carrots (roughly 2-3 cups)
  • 1.5 kilos (just over 2 pounds) of chopped potatoes, again, roughly
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 500 grams of beef chuck for stewing, cut into 3 cm (1 inch) pieces
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups (1.5 liters) of beef stock
  • 1.5 cups of Guiness Ale
  • 1.5 cups of red wine (I used local cabernet sauvignon)
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves

Note: I purchased all the ingredients for less than $25, and the bottle fo wine was $15, making it a $40 meal that serves 4-6 people!!!


The recipe required the use of two pots, one for cooking the meat and one for the veggies. I only have one pot so I cooked the veggies first and then proceeded with the rest of the recipe.

Clean your veggies and chop them. Notice that I chopped everything, even the beef, with my trusty Swiss army knife! We own nicer knives than that, but they are somewhere in the middle of the ocean on their way to us and I forbid M to buy another new one...

Now if this looks like a lot of vegetables is because it is!!! Next heat up the pot on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the veggies and cook until soft but not completely cooked through... or just for 20 minutes. Stir constantly.

I put the veggies aside and washed the pot. While it was soaking, I went ahead and cut my meat and salted it slightly and chopped my garlic. The meat should be fatty aka marbled (if you want to be fancy), but mine had 2 big chunks of fat that I removed. I also prepared the rest of the ingredients for the stew.

Heat up the pot again on medium heat, add oil and wait for it to be actually hot. You want the meat to sizzle when it hits the pan. I worked in batches like the recipe suggests, you want the meat to brown, not steam. 

When all the pieces were nicely finished I put them all together in the casserole. You add the garlic and it will produces a heavenly smell... try to scrape (with a wooden spoon) the meaty bits at the bottom. If some of them are really stuck, just ad a bit of the beef stock and try again.

At last you add the rest of the ingredients: beef stock, wine, beer, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, sugar, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir every 20 minutes or so... omg... the aroma... 

We have not forgotten the veggies!!! After the hour has passed add the vegetables and simmer, this time uncovered, for 40 more minutes.

It smells amazing up in here... I scooped out some of the fat that forms at the top, I want to keep this minimally healthy. Finally time to serve, make it special with some parsley, that's right you deserve it.

PS. I used M's Canon 30D to take these shots, so you should see a considerable improvement in blog photo quality!


Meder Kydyraliev said...

nom nom nomz!

MarkM said...

This looks like a tasty irish stew :) It does seem though like you've already gotten spoiled by the Sydney weather ;)

MarkM said...

Btw, here is another recipe from the isles:

when you feel the cold coming, make yourself a hot whiskey:


Btw, I thought your Irish stew was a super-charged version. This is the actual one and the one I remember (trust me, not that good at all):


Emilia said...

Omg nom nom... I just made this and it is HEAVENLY! Keep those recipes coming :)

jslo5203 said...

Hey Leo one indispensable addition to the kitchen of engineers is a pressure cooker, they are excellent for tenderizing grains and meats in stews. love dad