Irish Beef Stew

Last summer I went to (and fell in love with) Ireland. The countryside and people are both just the nicest things you could ever hope to encounter. The food is solid. Maybe not so well known around the world and maybe not as varied as say the cuisines of India, but it was excellent nonetheless. The most famous Irish dish (assuming you don’t count Guinness to be a meal in and of itself) is beef stew. I’ve found myself making it from time to time when I start to miss the chilled winds and green pastures of the Emerald Isle.

The Cliffs of Moher, Ireland 2015.Kelsey Kinser
Having a slow cooker makes quick work of this dish. Start it in the morning and have dinner ready when you walk in the door. Parsnips are not essential but their uniquely sweet flavor balances out the heaviness of the beef nicely. Many recipes call for a bit of beer to deepen the flavor, and if you want by all means add 1/4-1/2 cup of stout to this recipe. Since I usually start this recipe in the morning or midday so it’s ready for dinner, it’s usually way too early to crack open a cold one and I just can’t stand to see beer go to waste. Instead I simply serve a fresh pint next to a bowl of this stew.

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1 lb beef steak or stew meat

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 bay leaf

2 potatoes, chopped

1 large carrot, peeled and sliced thick

1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced thick

2 1/2 cups beef broth

parsley, for garnishing (optional)

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  1. Use a fork to poke holes in the steak. Place a skillet on high heat and brown each side of the steak for 2-3 minutes until some color appears.
  2. Remove the steak and slice into small bitesized pieces.
  3. In the basin of your slow cooker mix together the tomato paste, soy sauce, and corn starch. Add the remaining ingredients, including the beef and turn the slow cooker onto high and cook for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8.
  4. Top with parsley if using and serve.

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