Irish Stew is such a comfort food and is sure to soothe any hungry stomach! The best part about Irish Stew is that you can really have fun with it. There are of course more traditional ways of making the stew, but depending on the veggies and flavor you want, you can pretty much throw anything into the pot and see what comes out! I am of course all for the traditional style, but I like to add twists too. Therefore, in honor of St. Patrick's Day, I made my Irish Stew more of a Guinness Stew!
Traditional Irish Stew with Guinness
-1 tablespoon butter and olive oil
-2 to 2 1/2 pounds lamb or beef for stew, cubed (go for the Lamb if you can)
-1 bag baby potatoes, or 3-4 potatoes cubed
-1 bag baby carrots or a few carrots peeled and sliced
-2-3 parsnips peeled and sliced (optional)
-1 to 2 onions, sliced
-1 bottle of Guinness (optional)
-About 1-2 cups of beef stock (if not using the Guinness, then you will need to use more)
-Thyme, salt, and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil. Add the onions and saute for a few minutes. Now is also a good time to add a little of the seasoning.
Then, add the meat and let it brown up a little. Add the carrots and parsnips (is using), and continue to saute for a few minutes.
Pour in the Guinness (if using), and then add the beef stock. Please note, you may not use all of the beef stock. Only feel the pan with stock until it is just about to cover the ingredients, but do not drown/fully cover the ingredients with the stock. Let this simmer for an hour or two. When I have time, I like to let it simmer on very low heat all day.
After the stew has simmered for an hour or so, add in the potatoes. Now is also a good time to taste the broth a little and add seasoning if needed. Cook for about another 30-45 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are fork tendered.
It is of course best to make this a day ahead of time and allow the flavors to meld together, but I of course can never wait, so I always scoop out a bowl as soon as it is ready.... and usually burn my tongue! So make sure to blow on the stew a bit to cool it down! :)