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Irish Beef Stew

Irish Stew is one of my favourite dishes, it is especially appealing when I need something hearty to warm my bones as the cold London winter approaches. Some people say that the meat needs to be lamb for it to be an Irish stew, but I dispute that. The most important ingredient is the stout and that is where the distinctive flavour comes from. You can use ale or even a lager if you can't lay your hands on stout wherever you are. To be honest you can use any meat at all, it is going to taste amazing after stewing for 3 hours no matter what animal it came from. This dish is delicious, healthy, full of vitamins and is actually surprisingly low calorie. If you can't find all the herbs you can get away with using just one of them, or parsley and chives also work well. Work with what you 've got! This stew is ridiculously easy to cook even though it tastes so incredible... why not give it a go yourself!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 3 1/2 hours

Serves: 6 - 8 people


1kg stewing beef, cut into bite size pieces

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

25g butter

Pinch of salt & pepper

3 medium white onions, finely chopped

6 sticks celery, finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 5mm rings

1 litre stout or ale

100ml red port

1/2 teaspoon worcester sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 stock cubes, crumbled

handful of sage, finely chopped

handful of rosemary, finely chopped

handful of thyme, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

4 medium red waxy potatoes cut into 2.5cm chunks

2 cups of frozen peas, defrosted


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius while getting everything else ready

  1. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper to the beef and mix well

  2. Heat a heavy bottomed casserole dish on the hob on a high heat, add the oil and butter and fry the beef in batches until browned on the outside, setting the meat aside when cooked. Make sure to cook the beef in batches as if you clump it all together in one go it will steam rather than brown nicely. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon so most of the oil is retained in the pot

  3. Once all the beef is nicely browned and set aside, add the onions, celery, garlic and carrots and fry, stirring regularly until they begin to soften

  4. Add the beef back to the pan, along with the stout, port, worcester sauce, ground nutmeg, stock cubes, herbs, bay leaves and stir well

  5. Put the lid on the casserole dish and place in the pre-heated oven for one hour, giving it a stir half way through

  6. Remove the pot from the oven and add the potatoes as well as 300ml of water

  7. Mix well and return to the oven with the lid on for another 90 minutes, stirring every half hour to prevent burning

  8. Remove the casserole dish from the oven, add the peas and return to the oven with the lid on for half an hour

  9. When finished you can add additional salt and pepper to taste, although I wouldn't recommend more than half a teaspoon of salt!

  10. Serve and enjoy

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