This is a lovely, thick and delicious beef stew, following in the footsteps of traditional Irish recipes. Slow cooked until everything is mouth-wateringly tender, this wholesome and hearty farmhouse stew is a warmly welcomed addition to the table on a cold evening. Along with the beef the carrots and other vegetables make this stew one to remember and return to time-and-again.
Irish Beef Stew Recipe
- 1.5 kg stewing beef steaks (cut into bite-sized cubes)
- 200g streaky bacon (diced)
- 330ml red wine
- 800ml beef stock
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- a few knobs of butter
- 3 small onions (peeled and finely diced)
- 250g small mushrooms (quartered)
- 12 baby carrots (scrubbed and left whole)
- 200g potatoes (peeled and diced small)
- sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cloves of garlic (chopped fine)
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley (plus 1 tbsp extra for the garnish)
To thicken the stew
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
In a large, tall, heavy-based saucepan add some of the vegetable oil, turn the heat up and get it hot. Then in batches brown the diced beef and bacon – adding in a little sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper with each batch. When each batch is browned remove to a large bowl. The beef and bacon need to be browned in batches to stop the pan cooling down by over-loading it, meaning instead of browning, the meat ‘stews’ – add extra oil in when needed.
Once browned remove all the meat, then add in a little extra oil and a knob of butter and fry the onions, potatoes, mushrooms and carrots. Do this one ingredient at a time, again seasoning each one. Remove them after a few minutes of frying to the bowl with the meat.
Finally fry the herbs and chopped garlic in a little oil and a small knob of butter. When golden add all the meat and vegetables back into the saucepan – leave most of the drained off oil in the bottom of the bowl. Cover with the red wine and beef stock. Tightly put a lid on the saucepan and cover this in foil to seal (if it needs it). Simmer this on a medium-low heat for two hours, (120 minutes) until the meat and vegetables are cooked.
To thicken the stew: in a small pan melt the butter, then add the flour, and cook out for two minutes.
When the stew is cooked use a slotted spoon to remove all the meat and larger vegetables. Reserve these in a bowl. Bring the remaining liquid up to the boil to reduce. Add one tablespoon of the butter and flour thickener (roux). Whisk the gravy so that the juices thicken. Simmer until you are happy with the thickness of the gravy. Replace the meat and vegetables, and taste for seasoning (adjust). Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with champ.