My Own Emerald Isle Stew
This is my personalized version of Irish beef stew starting with an authentic Celtic recipe and the addition of a few "twists" used frequently in Irish ethnic cooking. Although I use lean to slightly marbled beef cubes, one must appreciate that during the hard times in Dublin, and all over the island, good cuts of beef were enjoyed only by royalty and the rich, and "beef" stews were often made with cuts of bacon or cheap shin meat. Sometimes ox or lamb kidney was used as well.
The use of Guinness draught (pronounced draft) in Irish cooking also goes way back, and gives stews and slow cooked meals a wonderfully distinctive malty flavor. Some recipes used today only use a "token" 8 oz. or so...I like to use a fair amount as this is how it was done across the pond :-)
This stew does have a unique and robust scent and taste, due to the combination of rather heady seasonings such as parsnips, caraway seed, bay leaves and of course the Guinness. Keep in mind as usual with my recipes that I am using a large stock pot. If you are using a dutch oven size pot that routinely comes with pots n pans sets please cut these ingredients in half.
*2-3 T. oil
*5 lb. beef cut in 1" cubes
*4 large onions cut in large chunks
*2 heaping T. minced garlic
*4 c. Guinness Draught
*5 c. water
*4 cubes beef bouillon OR
3 heaping T. powdered bouillon
*4 bay leaves
*2 tsp. Caraway seed
*2 T. salt
*2 tsp. pepper
*3 parsnips cut in 3/4" pieces
*8 large carrots in 3/4" pieces
*3 lb. russet or redskin potatoes in
large chunks with skin on
*5 stalks celery in 1" pieces
*1 bunch fresh parsley chopped small
(about 2 1/2-3 cups)
*6 T. flour
Heat oil in the pot on medium until it appears "shimmery"...add the meat and brown, stirring often.
Stir in your chopped onions, parsnips and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onions are on their way to getting soft.
Add your draught, water, bouillon, bay leaves, caraway seed, salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Quickly reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer for 30 minutes.
Add carrots, potatoes, celery and parsley...returning to a boil again, and once more reducing to a simmer for another 30 min. or until veggies are getting tender but not mushy.
Remove the bay leaves. Add flour to about a cup and a half of water and blend well. Then stir it into your stew to thicken your broth.
Serve with Irish Soda Bread, or just plain fresh baked bread and butter...ENJOY!!!!
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