Sláinte! Irish Stew from Chi-reland!

 Soupier than yours should look.
Unless you want it to be soupier. Then have at.

Didn't I just say something about not eating a lot of red meat? I'm fairly certain I did and, in all honesty, that was true. In fact, if this were last year I wouldn't be eating it at all as I'd called it quits on cows and such for somewhere around two years.And yet, here we are, with yet another red-meat-recipe.

At least I was better at being a pollotarian that I was a vegetarian. Yikes. "No, no, I'm not eating meat right now...oh, this is a chicken salad bagel with bacon on it? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!" (oh, the things we do in relationships...that we will never, ever do again...)

At any rate. It is St Patrick's Day and that meant I ought to do something Irish for y'all. (must. stop. with. the. y'all-ing.) I don't know what I was planning on (lies, I totally know) but I do know it was awesome (not lies) and totally would have slaaaayed. I'll just have to go through my delicious Irish cookbook another time though because I did this instead.

And how did Irish Stew come into the world here? Well. Jamison is on sale at the grocery store if you get a beef product and, as happens, they don't check to make sure you HAVE said beef product if you do self-checkout. Unless you get the over-zealous self-checkout woman who wants to be sure you know how to scan a coupon and she reminds you to get your beef product. I then hunted for the absolute cheapest thing I could find.

Then I got home and remembered that as a ginger-haired, celtic-inked, whiskey-lovin' Irish lass, I totally have potatoes in my kitchen. And that, yes, Irish Stew practically requires it to be wicked cheap meat.

Also, it tends to ask that said meat be lamb or mutton (grown up lamb!) but I didn't have that and, well, I don't really like to cook lamb. The raw lamb feel? Blargh.

Okay, well, anyway, I decided to try my hand at an Irish stew with a few memories of Irish people I know who made this or talked about this. Sadly, I had no parsnips to include or cabbage or stout or whatever. But I threw it together!

- the packet of cheap stew-level beef (it was less than a pound)
- one cup veg broth
- half cup red wine
- olive oil
- butter
- handful of chopped mushrooms
- one small-medium onion, sliced in half-moon style
- two cloves garlic, diced
- three bay leaves
- three carrots, sliced up into soup sized bits
- three potatoes, chopped up into soup sized chops
- basil, pepper, salt, hint of lemon, a little thyme
- some of that butter-flour roux that you do without cooking it. you know. (a tablespoon of softened butter mixed with two tablespoons of flour to get a sort of crumbly pasty mix.)

Now. I marinated the beef overnight in some oil, with some basil and some garlicky-lemony seasoning. How's that for planning!

Now. Heat up some oil and butter in the bottom of your pot. Add onion and garlic and let soften a bit, then chuck in beef to brown up and cook a bit. About, oh, seven to ten minutes later add a splash of the wine and stir some more. Chuck in the veg, let cook up to a largely softened space. Season with the pepper, basil, etc etc (whichever you like!). Then add the stock and the red wine - if you have an Irish stout that you like or, you know, tolerate, I suggest adding some of that with the wine and stock - just lessen the amount of stock or wine. (may I suggest lessening the stock?)

Chuck in bay leaves, add a little pepper, stir, slap a lid on there, and cook a while. About twenty minutes in, maybe, crumble in the raw-roux and stir swiftly to avoid any gross clumps. Unless, of course, you like them. Then I apologize for mocking.

Lid back on! Cook longer! You want this to reduce down to a delicious stew. Once it does this to your liking, fish out the bay leaves and serve with bread. Soda bread, even, if you've that.


Irish Soda Bread? Doesn't have rasins. I'm really sorry to tell you this. Traditionally speaking, that is a railway cake. I mean, call if what you want and enjoy it, but facts are facts, yo.

Also. I, um, maybe didn't wait for my stew to reduce. But I was hungry, it was midnight (I work late, I get home late, I eat late...) and by god, I don't even care.

It was pretty tasty, I'll say that. Not like the best thing I've ever done but I did eat two bowls (too much! slept so well!).

Happy St. Patrick's Day, guys!

Rest assured, I'll be celebrating after work. Sláinte!

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