Are you feeling lucky? Well, today I have the perfect stew to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family and friends. I’m calling this dish the Luck O’The Irish Stew, but it is really just my regular beef stew with one additional ingredient; Guinness Beer, of course!
We don’t typically do much to observe St. Patrick’s Day, although one of my husband’s sisters was born on that day (Happy Birthday, Pam), making her the family leprechaun. However, one year while living in Hawaii, I got the urge to celebrate all things Irish. So, I invited two sets of neighbors over, pulled out everything green in my cupboards to use as serving dishes, and made a quick trip to the dollar store for some cute decor. I made this Luck O’the Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and a cake with green tinted frosting. Here we were in Hawaii, surrounded by palm trees and trade winds, pretending we were in Ireland:) I am always looking for any reason to throw a little get-together, and this turned out to be a fun celebration.
Now, for the stew recipe. To begin, you will need the following ingredients:
Luck O'the Irish Stew
1 pound beef chuck cubed stew meat
3 slices of bacon, diced (optional)
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2-3 stalks celery, washed and sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
8 small Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and quartered
1 12 ounce bottle or can of Guinness beer
2 cups beef stock or water with beef bouillon cube
3 Tbs. flour
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
Salt and pepper
Season stew meat with salt and pepper and toss in flour and set aside. Heat large pot or Dutch Oven, cook bacon pieces until done. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Add olive oil to bacon drippings and brown stew meat on all sides. Remove stew meat and set aside with bacon. Saute onions in pan until lightly browned. Add the other vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the Guinness and bring to boil, deglazing the pan by scraping pieces off of the bottom. Add the beef, bacon and remaining ingredients back into the pot and stir well. Either remain cooking on the stove covered for 2 hours, or transfer to slow cooker for 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high. Either way, stir occasionally. Salt and pepper to taste.
For the final flourish, I topped the stew with puffed pastry cut-outs in the shape of shamrocks, just to drive home the St. Patrick’s Day theme a little more. To make the puffed cutouts, purchase a box of frozen puffed pastry and remove one of the two sheets to thaw. Once thawed, smooth out and cut the shape you desire. I have also cut long strips, covered with melted butter, rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese, and twisted them to make cheese twists, which are equally great. After cutting out the shapes, brush with egg wash and bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes. As you can see, in addition to the four shamrocks, I cut out some small circles to use up the rest of this precious dough. Waste not, want not!
To serve, ladle generous portions of the stew into bowls and top with shamrock puffed pastry pieces. Serve with a light salad or fresh fruit, and you have a great Irish feast.
For this batch, I did not use the bacon or peas, and I went heavy on the carrots because I love the way they sweeten while cooking. I was also lucky to have some fresh rosemary in my planter outside that survived the winter, but dried would be fine. Otherwise, I stayed true to the recipe above. This stew is so savory and hearty, and only gets better the next day. Best of all, the subtle taste of the Guinness, while in no means overpowering, really comes through, making this the perfect offering for the whole family. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you and yours!