Who doesn’t love a good, hot stew on a blustery cold day? I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t be thrilled to find a meal like this waiting for them when they got home from a hard day’s work. If those people also happened to be working all day on a cattle drive I’ll bet they were in absolute heaven.
This is one of several dishes I’m going to be cooking up for National Irish American Heritage Month, not only because I happen to be a very proud Irish/Native American, but because Irish food is absolutely fabulous and should be experienced.
This dish is taken from a Texas cookbook, but that doesn’t surprise me. There is a lot of Irish influence in Texas’ history. When you’ve got a lot of Irish people hanging around they’re going to want meals that reminded them of the old country. What there wasn’t a lot of, especially after the Texas range wars, was mutton, so they made it using beef instead.
I’m glad they did. While I adore a traditional Irish stew made with lamb, the beef version is just as good. (And in the case of beef, I’m not adverse to carrots, which should never be used in a lamb version… Though parsnips might be acceptable.)
So if you and your family are in the mood for a hearty, filling stew that will warm you through and through on a chill spring evening, I beg you to give this one a try. You won’t regret it.
What’s your favorite stew? Is it regional or an old family recipe? Is it meaty and rich or a great seafood chowder? Perhaps it’s meatless and something you’d like to share. In any event, let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear about it.
Adapted from a recipe in The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos by Robb Walsh
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp coarse salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 Tbsp spicy mustard or Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1large turnip, peeled and diced
- 3 carrots, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1 pound potatoes, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 pound crimini or portobello mushrooms, cut in bite-sized pieces
- 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large, oven proof pot over medium heat. Dredge beef in flour mixture and add to pot with garlic and onions. Cook until well browned on all sides, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients except parsley and mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, stir well to incorporate the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, add parsley and mushrooms and cook, covered, over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and serve with a good crusty bread.
Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
the original recipe came out pretty bland on our scale, so I added a lot more salt, pepper and then the liquid smoke and Worcestershire, which turned it from underwhelming to amazing. this is not to play down the original recipe. I’ll have to make it again to see if I interpreted something wrong or if I missed a step somewhere. In any event, our changes are listed in the recipe above, so enjoy!
Links to other recipes like this: