Friday, September 30, 2016

Irish Beef Stew and Irish Soda Bread

Irish Beef Stew and Irish Soda bread.
Is it stew weather yet? I dropped my laptop this past summer and I have a whole folder of things and recipes to blog. Lost somewhere. They can be recovered and I suspect will be when there's time. Eek. I'm debating scheduling this for the fall. It's June 16th right now, so.. maybe September/October? Or, whenever I actually finish the post? Gives me time to test the recipe several ways and update right?
Good news, my smart husband recovered my files, fixed the laptop, and all should be well in that area. So let's talk stew.
This batch of Irish Beef Stew was made in the Instant Pot.
This stew is my favorite beef stew that I make, it's so very flavorful. I usually don't drink beer or even like beer. But it gives this stew really good flavor. The beef is tender and flavorful. You may be tempted to skip the browning and sauteing in this recipe. I think it's a very important step and gives a great depth of flavor. If you're able to give the potatoes a quick browning I find they hold their shape better during cooking.
During the lost files debacle from above I have updated with a slow cooker method and a pressure cooker method. I have an Instant Pot, so that's what I use. It's now September 26 and it IS getting to be stew weather. Whew. Longest time to write a post ever? Sadly not really. I'm always behind. At least this stew can be made just about anyway under the sun. You could even pop it in the oven after all the browning and assembly in a dutch oven.


I serve this stew with Irish Soda bread. The Irish Soda bread recipe is a quick no knead bread recipe. You can find it through this link HERE. I make two loaves and toss one in the freezer sliced so we can take out a piece and toast it in the mornings. We like to dip a little buttered bread into the stew, it soaks up the broth well.


Irish Beef Stew

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-2 inch pieces (907 grams)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour (1 ounce, 30 grams)
Salt and pepper or seasoned salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
5 medium Russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces (Approximately 1 pound 13 ounces/803 grams)
1 large onion, chopped (7-7/8 ounces, 225 grams)
2 cups 1-inch pieces peeled carrots (10 ounces, 284 grams)
12 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered to 1 inch pieces(340 grams)
6 large garlic cloves, minced (3/4 ounce, 22 grams)
6-12 ounces of Guinness beer
8 cups beef stock or beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste (1-3/4 ounces, 48 grams)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (1/2 ounce, 13 grams)
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley.

Garnish:
Chopped fresh parsley

  1.  Toss the beef cubes in flour, salt, and pepper.
  2.  Heat oil in a dutch oven or stock pot.
  3. Brown beef in batches on all sides. Place beef on a platter.
  4. In the same pot melt butter and brown the potatoes. They don't have to be dark, and not cooked through. Add potatoes to the beef platter.
  5. Add carrots and onion to the pot and saute.
  6. If the pot is too dry add a tablespoon of butter, add garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned.
  7. Add 1 cup stock to the pot, scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen all the browned bits at the bottom and on the sides, or it will have burn spots.
  8. Return the potatoes and beef to the pot, including any rendered juices in the platter.
  9. Add remaining ingredients, simmer or 50-60 minutes.
  10. Remove bay leaves.
  11. If you want a thicker stew, take three tablespoons of flour and whisk it in 1/2 a cup of water. Pour it into the pot while it simmers the last 10 minutes.
  12. Stir in chopped parsley.
  13. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slow cooker/ crock pot:

  1. Brown the beef and vegetables. 
  2. Place everything in a crock pot and cook until vegetables are tender and the meat is cooked through. Six to eight hours on low works well for time. In an Instant Pot I would do Slow cooker NORMAL or HIGH.
  3. Thicken during the last 30 minutes of cooking. (Whisk together 3 tablespoons of flour and cold water or stock, stir this mixture into the stew).
  4. Remove bay leaves, stir in parsley.
I use a cup or two less liquid, but the full amount is fine also for this slow cooking method.

Irish Beef Stew (Instant Pot)

2 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-2 inch pieces (907 grams)
Salt and pepper or seasoned salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups beef stock or beef broth
5 medium Russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces (Approximately 1 pound 13 ounces/803 grams)
1 large onion, chopped (7-7/8 ounces, 225 grams)
2 cups 1-inch pieces peeled carrots (10 ounces, 284 grams)
6 large garlic cloves, minced (3/4 ounce, 22 grams)
12 ounces mushrooms, halved or quartered to 1 inch pieces (340 grams)
6 ounces of Guinness beer 
2 tablespoons tomato paste (1-3/4 ounces, 48 grams)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup red wine

2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  1. Turn the Instant Pot on to SAUTE mode, on HIGH. While it heats, gather your ingredients.
  2. Once the pot is hot, add the oil and saute the beef after seasoning it with salt and pepper. 
  3. Remove the beef from the pot.
  4.  Pour the 1 cup stock into Instant Pot and scrape off all the browned bits at the bottom of the pot. This is very important in the pressure cooker, because you don't want it to burn on the bottom.
  5. Return the beef and any accumulated renderings to the pot. 
  6. Add remaining ingredients to the pot, except the parsley.
  7. Press the STEW button on NORMAL after securing the lid on the pressure cooker. Follow manufacturer instructions.
  8. Once the stew cycle is complete, do a quick release* and check the meat to see if it's tender. If not you can add more cooking time on MANUAL. 
  9. If the stew is not thick enough, whisk 3 tablespoons of flour into 1/2 cup of cold water or stock. Turn the Instant Pot on to SAUTE mode HIGH. Stir in the flour and water. Simmer until thick.
  10. Stir in parsley, remove bay leaves, adjust seasonings to taste.
* Quick release note:
Please note, quick release doesn't mean just flipping the vent open and walking away. I slowly release the pressure buy placing a wooden spoon under the vent to let the steam out. A full opening of the vent could result in stew sputtering out.
*This makes for a full pot of stew in the Instant Pot, make sure you do not go above the MAX fill line. I don't pack my pot tight, but if a few mushrooms are peeking over the max fill line, I am okay with that, as they will cook down. The liquid in this recipe should not be close to the max fill line.
* Because there's no evaporation, I feel the beer is somehow more potent in the Instant Pot, because of that depending on how much I like the beer I'll use half to a whole bottle.

Freezer Tip:
  1. This stew freezes well.
  2. Freeze tomato paste in an ice cube tray if you have leftovers.

That's it! Is it Fall weather where you are yet? It is getting SOO close here. The mornings are crisp and chilly. I love it. I can't wait for Fall, I wish it was longer.

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