Traditional Irish stew is made with lamb. If this is not budget friendly for you, beef is also good. The cooking time for this dish is around three hours, on average. But as with any stew, the longer the cooking time, the better the flavor.
It does contain beer, but the alcohol cooks out and leaves a deep, rich flavor and a great color, as well.
Many stews and soups require dried herbs like bay leaves and sprigs of thyme, leaving you to fish them out when it is time to eat. Adding your dried herbs to a pouch made with cheesecloth and tied with twine, allows you to add the flavors without the trouble. This is popular in French cooking and is knows as a bouquet garni. Leaving the twine long after tying allows you to drape the ends over the edge of the pot, using the lid to hold it in place for easier removal.
What you’ll need:
¼ cup olive oil.
• 2 pounds of beef roast or lamb with the fat trimmed, cut into medium cubes.
• 6 carrots cut into 2-inch pieces.
• 2 medium onions, chopped roughly.
• 5 cups of beef stock.
• 4 large white potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes.
• 1.5 tsp. salt.
• 1.5 tsp. pepper.
1 bouquet garni, which contains two bay leaves, three sprigs of thyme and ½ bunch parsley, roughly chopped.
• 1 pint Guinness or dark stout beer.
In a large pot on medium to high heat, add the oil. Sear the meat to form a nice crust all around. Add onions, carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper, stirring to mix all well.
Add beef stock and the bouquet garni and reduce to simmer. Add Guinness and cook with the lid off for one hour, put the lid on and cook for two hours or more. Always taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. As the liquid cooks down, the stew will thicken and become rich and full of flavor. Before serving, remove and discard the bouquet garni.
Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.