Emerald Isle Stew:
An Authentic Irish Recipe for St. Patrick's Day or a
Great Beef Stew Recipe for Year-Round

The Recipe: A hearty, gravy-rich beef stew with carrots and potatoes, authentic for St. Patrick's Day but a really good basic stew recipe all year round too. I especially like this stew because it needn't cook all day, it's ready in a couple of hours, the chunks of beef already tender, the carrots and potatoes firm and sweet, not mushy from long cooking.

The Conversation: Authentic Irish fare versus lusty American traditions.

Emerald Isle Stew, a hearty, gravy-rich stew. Beef with onions, carrots and potatoes, seasoned with caraway.

Lucky are the leprechauns comin’ home from green-capped mischief on St. Paddy’s Day to stew a-simmerin’ a-stove.

Emerald Isle Stew is genuine Irish fare – though a mordant sort might contend that for authenticity, the plates be filled with naught – just meat and onions, carrots and potatoes that cook slowly over a couple of hours, filling the kitchen with earthy-sweet, jig-inducing aromas.

And even if it weren’t authentically Irish, isn’t it somehow authentically American to lustily celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with inauthentic Irish food like corned beef and cabbage and other revelries when the Irish themselves mark the day with little fanfare?

Still, for foodies, it is great fun to cook up something special, especially something special that’s easy to make – and make ahead – and authentic. You’ll have leprechauns dancing before y’r very eyes.

COLCANNON is an Irish potato dish of infinite variation. For my low-carb version, cook a half pound of diced potatoes with a pound of chopped cabbage. If you like, add some chopped kale or broccoli rabe to the pot near the end, then mash with butter and cream. Delicious!

ALANNA's TIPS Make sure to have on hand hot Irish soda bread or crusty rolls for dunking into the delicious gravy. Or substitute parsnips or turnips for potatoes in the stew, then serve it atop colcannon or potatoes boiled in their skins. A six-pack of Guinness stout is expensive, $8.50 at my grocery in 2010, but I found a large bottle of Guinness Extra Stout with the cold beers for just $2.59 — a bargain and plenty of Guinness to make Nigella's Chocolate Stout Cake too. The caraway seed somehow 'makes' the stew tastes like authentic Irish fare but thyme or rosemary work fine, too, especially during the rest of the year.

READER RECIPE:
EMERALD ISLE STEW

Hands-on time: 30 minutes to start, 10 to finish
Time to table: 2-1/4 hours
Makes 11 cups
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 3 pounds boneless beef top sirloin, fat trimmed, cut in one-inch cubes
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups stout beer such as Guinness (12 ounces)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cube concentrated beef bouillon
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 pound new potatoes, cut in quarters or large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium high til shimmery. Add the meat, let it brown, stirring often. Stir in onion and garlic as they’re prepped, let cook til onions are soft. Add beer, water, bouillon, bay leaves, caraway, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, simmer 30 minutes. (Cook ahead to here if you like. Return to a simmer to continue.)

Add the carrots and potato, return to a boil, cover and let simmer 30 minutes.

Remove bay leaves. Sprinkle flour over hot mixture a bit at a time, stirring each bit in before adding more. Let cook 2 – 3 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 257 Calories; 7g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 18g Carb; 3g Fiber; 852mg Sodium; 52mg Cholesterol; 30g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5, WW PointsPlus 6
My long-time friend Lisa and I have been swapping recipes since the mid 1980s. Not that she too is blogging, she's posted this recipe too, which she calls Good Irish Stew which she serves (and which I must-must some time!) in Potato Bread Bowls.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Send your own St Patrick’s recipe tradition to recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

Irish "Potatoes"


Colcannon, the classic Irish potato dish, just potatoes cooked and mashed with cabbage and in my version, some greens. Lower carb and very tasty.

Everyone loves Colcannon! It's such a simple combination, just potatoes and cabbage cooked and mashed together but decidedly good and "lower carb" too for those who watch their carbs. Recipe here, Colcannon.


More St. Patrick's Day Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Irish Soda Bread Muffins Caraway Corned Beef Colcannon

More Beef Stew Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Winter Stew Beef Stew with Cranberries (Swedish Kalops) Beef & Mushroom Stew
~ more beef recipes ~

Quick Links to This Page

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~ Colcannon ~


It looks delicious!
 
I am very excited to be trying the Emerald Isle Stew recipe. Being of Irish decent I am going to make a few variations that I know are authentic to Irish stew...the addition of parsnips and fresh parsley. But my ancestors didnt use bouillon, garlic or bay leaves, but I am going to.I will definately be letting you know how it turned out and give you my detailed version with whatever changes I made.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna