Believe it or not, I didn’t like Irish beef stew growing up. I would often groan when my mom or dad would announce that stew was on the menu for dinner. BUT, as an adult? I love it, adore it, and see it as a delicious bowl of beefy comfort.
This year, I actually attempted to make stew on my own for the first time with the help of my mom’s guidance! Our Irish beef stew is definitely different than most. We take a bit of my mom’s Italian side by adding tomato sauce and add a bit of heat with jalapeno. I know, I know…jalapeno…in Irish Stew? Trust me on this. My Irish dad – and even my Irish family – we all love spicy food! The jalapeno adds a savory kick, a little bit of acid and heat to a comforting bowl of stew.
Not only did I make this classic dish on my own for the first time, I also took the time to learn more about Irish history this month. It’s been really eye opening to look at the history of Irish food and culture and how it’s played a role in the way we are today. I learned that back in the day, stew was a necessity for the poor to nourish themselves. Being able to take a piece of mutton, potatoes, and onions in a pot to serve your whole family was essential hundreds of years ago. You can check out all my learnings on my Instagram stories under the McRecipes highlight!
- 1-2 lbs lean stewing beef, chopped in cubes
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 4 cups of water
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 parsnips, chopped
- 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 10 oz chopped potatoes
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup of flour mixed with water (create a paste)
- salt and pepper
- Lay your beef out on a cutting board and ensure all pieces are relatively the same size. Dust with flour and generously season with salt and pepper.
- In a large stock pot, add your oil and heat over medium. Add your beef and allow it to sear until golden brown and then turn each piece to sear the other side.
- Add onion and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add 4 cups of water and tomato sauce, and cover. Allow your beef to cook for at least an hour on it's own.
- After your stew has been cooking for an hour, add carrots and parsnips. Allow to cook for about 20 minutes, and then add potatoes. Add remaining vegetables once potatoes have been cooking for about 10 minutes. You want to add your vegetables gradually, so they evenly cook.
- Allow your stew to simmer for at minimum another 40 minutes. Taste your stew for flavor and add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in your flour and water mixture in slowly, until stew thickens into a gravy (or until your liking).
- Serve stew with a healthy portion of mashed potatoes and a pint!