Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beef and Guinness Irish Stew - Caity

With St. Patrick's Day coming up and green beer and corned beef and cabbage being advertised everywhere, it's hard not to think about Ireland. My Auntie Jo has worked very hard and has traced our branch of the Walsh family back to Ireland where my great great great grandmother Catherine Joyce left on a boat from Galway City with her family in 1849 (at my last family history briefing, my great great great grandfather Martin Walsh possibly immigrated in 1846 -- any updates Auntie Jo???). My great great great grandparents were married in Pennsylvania and since then the Walsh family has spread far and wide across the US. 

I was lucky enough to visit Ireland in 2007 with my family.  We toured a large part of the country and visited many ancient Irish historical sites. We even got to crawl inside a mound that people lived in a long long long time ago (the sleeping area was covered in rocks... I don't know how they did it). We also visited a large number of pubs for some traditional Irish pub fare. Beef and Guinness Stew was offered at nearly every pub we visited country-wide. While every pub had their own recipe, it's pretty much the same stuff - delicious!  

This recipe is from Darina Allen's cookbook 'Irish Traditional Cooking' (you can't get more legitimate than that!). 

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, so skip the corned beef and cabbage and try some Beef and Guinness Irish Stew this year!  Disclaimer: I still like corned beef and cabbage, so I'm going to make both. Serve with Killian's Irish Brown Bread, Colcannon and a nice, cold Guinness. 

what you'll need:

2 lbs lean stewing beef
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp flour
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste, dissolved in 4 Tbsp water (not pictured above, sorry)
1-1/4 cups Guinness (bottles are best!) 
2 cups carrots, cut into chunks
Sprig of thyme
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper 

In a small bowl, season the flour with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch or two of cayenne. 

Trim the meat of any fat or gristle. Cut into 2 inch cubes and toss in a bowl with 1 Tbsp oil. Sprinkle the seasoned flour over the meat and mix evenly. 

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp oil in a large pot. Brown the meat on all sides. 

Yum! Nice and browned! 

Add the onions, garlic, and tomato puree and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. 

Pour in the Guinness and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove all the delicious browned bits. 

Add the carrots and thyme. Stir, taste and add more salt if needed. 

Cover and simmer gently until the meat is tender, about 2 to 3 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Scatter with lots of chopped parsley. 

Serve with Killian's Irish Brown Bread, Colcannon (recipe coming soon!) and a nice cold Guinness! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

Here are a couple highlights from our 2007 Walsh Ireland Trip:

A bunch of weirdos enjoying a pint and a snack during a rare sun break
Even Grandma liked her Guinness at the Guinness Factory in Dublin

Ancient Irish living quarters...
Caveman Keegan testing out the new living quarters (and feeling right at home)
Keegan, Auntie Jo and mom ready for another day
Erin, Keegan and I somewhere in Ireland
One of the many Walsh's Pubs in Ireland

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