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.
Emerald Isle Stew ♥ KitchenParade.com, 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 & 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.

You'll Love This Emerald Isle Stew If ...

  • dinner needs to be on the table in a couple of hours
  • a simple stew of tender chunks of beef with no more than carrots and potatoes sound good
  • the "gravy" is your favorite part of a good beef stew

Ready to get started? Here's your recipe!


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 (12 ounces) stout beer such as Guinness
  • 3 cups beef stock (or 3 cups water with a cube of 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

BROWN THE MEAT Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium high until shimmery. Add the meat, let it brown, turning every so often.

ADD EVERYTHING EXCEPT THE VEGETABLES Stir in the onion and garlic as they’re prepped, let cook until onions are soft. Add the beer, stock, bay leaves, caraway, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a simmer, simmer on the stove for 30 minutes. (Cook ahead to here if you like. Return to a simmer to continue.)

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

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

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 pretty expensive ($8.50 at my grocery in 2010). But look for a single large bottle of Guinness Extra Stout with the cold beers for less than $3 – a bargain and bonus! plenty of Guinness leftover 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.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 252 Calories; 6g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 53mg Cholesterol; 221mg Sodium; 15g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 30g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 6 & Freestyle 5
My long-time friend Lisa and I have been swapping recipes since we met way-way back in 1985. Now that Lisa 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.

Colcannon = Irish "Potatoes"

Colcannon ♥ KitchenParade.com, 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 an Irish potato dish of infinite variation, starting with such a simple combination, just potatoes and cabbage cooked and mashed together. Here's how to make 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!

More St. Patrick's Day Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Irish Soda Bread Muffins Caraway Corned Beef with Red Potatoes, Carrot Chunks, Cabbage Wedges & Cheese Sauce Irish Spiced Fruitcake with Brown Sugar Lemon Curd
~ more St Patrick's Day recipes ~

Comfort Food From Our Home to Yours: More Beef Stew Recipes

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Winter Stew Beef & Mushroom Stew Slow-Cooked or Slow Cooker Pot Roast
~ more beef recipes ~

Quick Links to This Page

(for easy bookmarking and searching)
~ Colcannon ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ beef recipes ~
~ carrot recipes ~
~ potato recipes ~
~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007, 2010, 2014, 2015 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous7/11/2007

    It looks delicious!

  2. 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.


Post a Comment

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