Unbelievably Tasty Irish Stew
This girl is a huge fan of stews. Not only because you can put them in a crock pot and walk away but also because they are so hearty and warming on cold days. You can also cook some of this up and freeze it for easy lunches or dinners in a pinch. This Irish stew is a friends recipe and has been worked and reworked until he reached this recipe. Like the title says it is unbelievably tasty.
¼ cup OLIVE OIL
1 ½ lbs STEW MEAT, cut into 1-inch pieces (I use deer stew meat)
6 large GARLIC CLOVES, minced
6 cups BEEF STOCK
2 Tbls TOMATO PASTE
1 tsp SUGAR
1 Tbl HERBS DE PROVENCE (basically a bunch of dried herbs pre-mixed – found in the spice aisle)
2 Tbls WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
2 BAY LEAVES
2 Tbls (¼ stick) BUTTER
3 lbs RUSSET POTATOES , peeled, cut into ½ -inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 lg ONION, chopped
2 cups ½-inch pieces peeled CARROTS
1 ½ containers quartered fresh WHITE MUSHROOMS
2 cups sliced CELERY
SALT AND PEPPER (after simmering through add approx 1 ½ teaspoons of salt – I use sea salt b/c it’s healthier than regular salt)
Warm olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add meat and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. If your using a crock pot, add mix to crock pot. Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, herbes de provence, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
While the meat and stock are simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender (minimum 1 hour). Discard bay leaves. Spoon off fat from the top. Discard fat. Tip: pets like dogs and cats love the fat skimmed of the top.
Can be prepared ahead. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving. Transfer stew to serving bowl (or individual bread bowls) and serve. Will last 2 to 3 days refrigerated and 2 to 3 months frozen.
Hint: To thicken a little add some plain instant potato flakes or you can bake and mash some fresh and add to the stew.
Hint: A sourdough bread bowl is the perfect container to serve this delicious stew in!