A girl drink Guinness while eating Irish stew.

Simple Recipe for Irish Stew

Summary: This has to be one of my favourites. It’s so easy to cook and tastes fantastic. Especially in winter, it’s very warming, but even in summer I like to cook this as it is an easy lazy recipe that I doesn’t need much work. Irish stew is a popular dish all of the British isles, not only in Ireland. It is basically a beef stew with potatoes cooked in the stew. It can be eaten on its own or with other things. Frequently a large, thickly cut, loaf of bread will accompany the stew and may be even dooked into the stew while eating.

Ingredients for Irish Stew

  • 1 kg (2 lb) of Beef (diced)
  • 1 kg (2 lb) of Potatoes (diced)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 2 large onions (chopped)
  • 60 ml of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 tablespoon of sage leaves (chopped fine)
  • 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves (chopped)
  • 1 glass white wine (optional)
  • 6 button mushrooms or similar
  • 100 ml tomato puree or tomato ketchup
  • 2 litres (4 pints) of beef stock
    or
    2 litres of water and beef stock cubes as per instructions on the box

Instructions for Irish Stew

Easy Method – Put everything in one big pot. Bring to the boil then simmer for about an hour. Told you it was easy.

Better Method – Use a large pot. Put a little oil in the bottom of the pot and start to fry the onions. As they yellow, reduce the heat and let them get a nice brown caramel. This will add loads of flavour to your stew. While the onions are cooking, splash a little of the Worcestershire sauce onto the beef and let it marinade. When the onions are brown, add a the beef to the pot and fry until the beef has some colour. You don’t need to fry it for too long, just long enough to give the Irish stew a fried flavour from the browned onions. Now add the other ingredients including the stock and bring the Irish stew to the boil. Let the Irish stew simmer gentry for at least 1 hour– usually the longer the better.

If the pot gets a bit dry, add more stock or water. When almost ready, taste the gravy with a small spoon. If it’s not got enough flavour add some extra stock or stock cube and or some more Worcestershire sauce. I usually add a bit of extra black pepper to mine too.

Variations

Just about anything can be added to the stew. If you have some leftover vegetables in the fridge, bung them in.

There are two main types of potatoes. Waxy potatoes that hold their form when boiled, and floury potatoes that go soft and fall apart. For best results use half and half of both types for this stew. If you use all floury, then the stew will turn to mush. Using all waxy is possible but lacks the texture that the mix of floury and waxy will give.

Preparation time: 20 min

Number of servings (yield): 4

Meal type: supper

Culinary tradition: Irish

My rating: 5 stars: ★★★★★

Irish stew photo by cyrildoussin

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