It’s that time of year again where we typically start thinking of things we can eat or drink to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. I know when growing up, my family would typically make some version of corned beef, and boiled cabbage, with an occasional potato or two. This time of year also excites me as it is when corned beef goes on sale at the local markets, and when I pick up a couple of them, just for storage for cooking later on in the year. But this is not about corned beef, this is about Irish stew.
I make beef stew throughout the year as it is something that is not only really easy to make, but it is pure comfort all around. But this time of year, a put a little twist on the standard beef stew, and that is by adding some awesome beer to it.
The great thing about any stew, is that you can make it your own. Root vegetables, chunks of meat, and a great broth, cooked low and slow make any stew pretty delicious, plus the addition of herbs, and when you throw in wine, or beer, it just make things better. Happy St. Patty’s and enjoy the Irish stew.
- 3 lbs of sirloin, cut into large chunks (use lamb if you want)
- 4 tbsp of canola oil
- 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 6 carrots, each cut into four chunks
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 cup of beef stock
- 12 oz of your favorite stout (New Glarus Road Slush)
Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat and add the oil. To a medium sized bowl, add the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, and mix well. Add in the large chunks of beef, and toss to coat each piece of the beef. Shake off any excess flour and set and place about five pieces in the skillet.
The goal is to brown the beef, each side, and this will take a couple of minutes per side, however the cast iron holds great heat and really assists you here. Once the pieces are browned, place on a plate, or directly in your slow cooker, which I prefer, otherwise, plate in a large pot on the stove. Repeat the process with the remaining uncooked beef.
Once all of the beef is browned, add in the onions and garlic, and stir in the skillet, keeping in mind that the skillet will be really hot. This will cook quickly. After a couple of minutes, add in about 3/4 of the stout, to deglaze the skillet. Use a wooden spoon and scrape any of the delicious bits from the bottom of the skillet and incorporate into the beer sauce. Add in your tomato puree, beef stock, and mix to smooth out the paste.
Add the sauce to your slow cooker, or pot on the stove, top with the carrots, and pour the remaining beer over the top.
Cook low and slow for approximately 4-5 hours, or until the beef falls apart when it encounters a fork.
Now you are ready to plate. I like to serve this on a large plate, with a serving of Irish colcannon. The flavors of the stout really do something wonderful to the stew. It is unlike a deep red wine on a traditional beef stew, and the subtle flavor really allows this to be a major hit during St Patty’s season. Enjoy.