Traditional Irish stew is made with lamb or mutton. This is a beef stew so I’m calling it an Irish-style stew so as not to mislead that it is traditional Irish stew.
There are claims that the benchmark of a real Irish stew is the unbrowned meat — meaning, the meat is not seared in hot oil prior to stewing. The beef in my stew was browned prior to stewing.
Like many Irish stew recipes, however, my beef was stewed in Guinness, the famous Irish dry stout. If you’re not familiar with beer classifications, stout means dark beer. Irish dry stout has a coffee-like flavor. The beef was slow cooked with vegetables until the liquid was reduced and the meat was literally falling off the bones. The cooked stew is dark, rich and truly delicious.
- 1 and ½ kilos of beef short ribs, chopped into 2-inch lengths and seasoned with a little salt and pepper
- about 6 tbsps. of butter
- 2 cans of Guinness
- about 1 c. of beef broth
- 3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- a few sprigs of tarragon (thyme is traditional but I find it too strong for this stew)
- Heat the butter in a thick-bottomed pan. Brown the meat, in batches if necessary.
- Pour in the Guinness, bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and slow cook for about an hour to an hour and a half.
- When the liquid has been reduced, stir the beef and scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure that nothing sticks on it. Stir in the broth. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Add the vegetables and the tarragon.
- Cover and simmer for another hour or until the liquid has again been reduced and the beef is very tender.
- Serve the stew hot. With crusty bread, rice or Irish champ (mashed potatoes with scallions).