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Susan S. Yeske: Recipe of the Week -- Irish stew for the American palate

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If you didn’t make something special for dinner on St. Patrick’s Day, you can still enjoy your favorites because most Irish dishes are terrific all year round.
Shepherd’s pie is a homespun staple, especially when paired with Irish soda bread, which is a breeze to bake.

Corned beef and cabbage is a hearty entrée you can make in your Dutch oven, pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Bangers and mash is sausage with mashed potatoes, while colcannon is a mixture of mashed potatoes and cabbage. Scones and Irish coffee are a treat anytime, especially when March winds are blowing.

Irish stew may be the most popular of all. In Ireland it traditionally is made with lamb, but here in the U.S. we like beef, so this recipe from simplyrecipes.com is designed for the American palate. A cup of Guinness stout adds traditional Irish flavor.

Beef Irish Stew

1¼ pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch chunks
3 teaspoons of salt (more to taste)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6 large garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef stock or broth
2 cups water
1 cup of Guinness extra stout
1 cup of hearty red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1½ to 2 cups)
2 cups ½-inch pieces peeled carrots and/or parsnips (3 to 4 carrots or parsnips)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Brown the beef: Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt over the beef pieces. Heat the olive oil in a large (6 to 8 quart), thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the beef (do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until well browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over and brown on another side.

2. Add garlic to the pot with the beef and sauté 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the beef stock, water, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to the lowest setting, then cover and cook at a bare simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. While the pot of meat and stock is simmering, melt the butter in another pot over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Sauté the onions and carrots until the onions are golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step 2 has simmered for one hour.

4. Add the onions, carrots, and the potatoes to the beef stew. Add black pepper and two teaspoons of salt. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves.
Tilt pan and spoon off any excess fat. Transfer stew to serving bowls. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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