How to Make Irish Stew
Irish Stew is a fantastic meal in itself that is great in winter, but can be eaten anytime. It's hardy, tasty and filling - and very easy to make!
What makes the perfect Irish Stew?
Irish Stew is the kind of food that is great on a cold winters night, but is simply perfect on any occasion. The aroma combined with the flavor make it one of my favorite meals. I currently have about five, but the addition of the barley in this recipe add a lot of texture and flavor to the stew.
This is simply my favorite Irish Stew recipe. Irish Stew with Guinness is a little bolder than traditional Irish Stew, and if you want you can simply remove the Guinness (or ale) and add stock. It should be noted that there will be a little alcohol left in the stew once fully cooked, but it's so low that the recipe is considered non alcoholic.
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Equipment required to cook an Irish Stew
For the perfect Irish Stew you simply need a crock pot, a very sharp knife for chopping vegetables, lamb and herbs and a chopping board! The crock pot should allow you to cook on High, Low and 'keep warm' as the cooking process will take several hours. The knives simply need to be very sharp!
Ingredients for an Irish Stew
Where possible use fresh ingredients
- 3lbs of mutton - this doesn't need to be top quality lamb as the meat will tenderize during cooking.
- 2 large chopped onions – I prefer to use red onions
- 2 cloves of garlic – you can use garlic powder but fresh garlic is better
- 1 tbl spn of chopped herbs – I use rosemary and Italian Herbs – the fresher the better.
- ½ cup of barley – adds a lot of flavor to a traditional Irish Stew
- 3 cups of potatoes – good old Irish Potatoes are required for Irish Stew
- 2 cups of mixed veggies – I use carrots, but you can add rutabaga, or any other vegetable of choice
- 12oz of Guinness – or any other hop based ale
- 1 cup of stock – vegetable or beef stock will do
- ¼ cup of curry powder – not traditional in Irish Stew but adds a nice kick – this is an optional ingredient
- ½ table spoon of corn starch – used to thicken – can use more if you require a thicker gravy
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to Cook an Irish Stew
There are many ways to cook an Irish Stew. Many recipes tell you to brown the meat, or place the vegetables in after pre-cooking them, but I've never really noticed a difference. Here's the simplest cooking method for a Irish Stew:
- Chop potatoes into one inch cubes
- Chop carrots into 'bite sized' pieces
- Cut excess fat off lamb and cut into ½ inch cubes
- Chop herbs finely
- Chop Onions finely
- Add all ingredients (excluding corn starch) into the crock pot and stir well
- Turn crock pot to high until the liquid begins boiling
- Mix cornflour with water and add to liquid
- Turn crock pot to low for two hours
- Turn crock pot to 'keep warm' until ready to serve – the longer the better!
Serving Suggestions for Irish Stew
Here are some different serving suggestions for Irish Stew:
- Traditionally you can add dumplings to the stew and eat as-is.
- Serve with buttered crispy rolls
- Add a dollop of sour cream
- Serve over egg noodles
- Serve with mashed potatoes.
My preference – some fresh bread, and a dollup of sour cream!