The month of March is here, signaling springtime is just ahead. There’s also that merrymaking holiday on the 17th, when many pull out the green outfits and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by cooking the traditional foods of Ireland while toasting with spirited Irish beverages.
Known as the signature dish of Ireland, traditional Irish Stew is composed of a simple combination of lamb and root vegetables. But there is no rule that says we can’t get creative in the kitchen and put our own spins on old favorites. This recipe features a few twists on the classic that create a richer depth of flavor. The addition of malty dark Guinness Stout Beer, the iconic beer of Ireland, gives this tomato based version an unexpected tangy sharpness. A swap out from the typical lamb to hearty robust slow braised beef short ribs takes this dish over the top, creating the ultimate comfort food and a decadent indulgence for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Almost Irish Stew
Yield: 6 servings
Cook time: 1 hour prep; 3 hours cook time
5 pounds beef short ribs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 sweet onion, rough chopped
2 celery ribs, rough chopped
8 carrots: 4 rough chopped, and 4 cut into ½” pieces
3 cloves garlic
1 ½ cups tomato paste
¼ cup brown sugar
2 ½ cups tart cherry juice
1 ¾ cup Guinness Stout Beer
¾ cup red wine
2 bay leaves
1 cup water
3 tablespoons flour + 4 tablespoons water
2 cups beef broth
1 pound tiny round Yukon Gold potatoes
Preheat oven to 375º. Combine onion, celery, 4 rough chopped carrots, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Chop until nearly pureed.
Sprinkle short ribs with Kosher salt. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large Dutch oven over high heat.
Brown short ribs 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a large plate.
Add 1 tablespoon oil and 2 tablespoons butter to pot. Add vegetable pureé and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook 7-8
minutes over medium high heat til lightly brown.
Add tomato paste and brown sugar. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in next 3 ingredients and cook 7-8 minutes
Return short ribs to pot. Add water and bay leaves. Cover pot and place in oven for 3 hours.
Meanwhile, blend the flour and water in a small bowl. During last 45 minutes of cooking, blend in beef
broth and flour mixture. Add carrot pieces and potatoes.
Remove cooked short ribs from pot and shred beef, discarding bones. Skim fat from surface of stew and
return shredded beef back to pot.
Serve stew in large bowls with crusty bread or Irish Soda Bread.