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Home Cooked Irish Stew
Memories of Irish Stew
There are a lot of lessons that we could learn from our parents in these hard times of recession but one that I have taken and adapted to suit my family is the Irish Stew. Irish Stew is one of Irelands traditional meals and is the one that is most often rolled out on St. Patricks Day which is celebrated on the 17th March. After a cold day standing out watching the parade or participating in the parade a bowl of stew is perfect to warm you up. Traditionally Irish Stew is made with lamb I usually substitute with beef. In fact beef is commonly used in Irish stew and in my opinion it tastes better.
My earliest memories of stew were back in the 1980's when household shopping budget in Ireland really had to really stretch! Two of the main meals every week were Irish stew and bacon and cabbage (my all time favourite even to this day!) We used to say that stew "warms the cockles of your heart".
Stew is best served with a pint glass of milk although on St. Patricks day, many people may replace the milk with a pint of Guinness!
2lbs beef cubed
2-3 Carrots sliced thickly or diced depending on your taste
1-2 sticks of celery diced
2 Parsnips halved and diced
1 onion, sliced
1 clove of Garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
pinch of pepper
3 or 4 medium size potatoes cut into quarters
Cooking the stew
Brown the beef pieces on a frying pan. Add them to the stew pot or crock pot depending on your choice of cooking method.
Add the onions and chopped garlic.
Add the carrots parsnips and potatoes.
Mix the stock cube with some boiling water and add to the pot.
Finally cover the contents of the pot with boiling water and cook slowly for 2-3 hours until all of the vegatables are tender.
Alternatively this stew can be cooked in the crockpot. For best results simply brown the beef, onions and garlic and follow the method as directed above. I recommend cooking the stew on a low setting over 6-8 hours. Chop the potatoes small to ensure that they are well cooked.
When the stew is cooked the it can be thickened by mixing a little cornflour to a paste with cold water and adding it to the pot. Stir well. Alternatively to add extra flavour try adding a couple of spoons of Bisto Browning.
Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with brown wholemeal bread.
This recipie serves 4-5 people with some left overs. In fact stew can taste even better the next day! Simply increase the ingredients for a bigger family.