Traditional Irish Beef and Guinness Stew with Colcannon and Irish Soda Bread

Irish Stew is the National Dish of Ireland and it is traditionally serwed with Colcannon and Irish soda bread. The stew can also be made with pie pastry and I have made both variations here below.

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces bacon ,diced
  • 2 pounds beef chuck
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 medium-large yellow onions ,chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic ,minced
  • 4 medium firm potatoes cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots ,chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery ,chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large parsnip ,chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 bottle (1 pint 16 oz) Guinness Extra Stout
  • 1 cup strong beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut the beef across the grain into into 1-inch pieces. Mix flour salt and pepper and toss the beef in it  to coat the pieces thoroughly. Set aside.

Fry the bacon in a Dutch oven or heavy pot until done then remove it with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon drippings in the pan.

Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pieces, generously brown the beef on all sides.

Transfer the beef to a plate and repeat until all the beef is browned.

Add the onions and fry them, adding more oil if necessary, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add all the vegetables except potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. 

Add the Guinness and bring it to a rapid boil, deglazing the bottom of the pot (scraping up the browned bits on the bottom). Boil for 2 minutes.  

Return the beef and bacon to the pot along with the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. 

Bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. After two hours simmering add the potatoes to cook the last 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with some crusty country bread or Irish soda bread. This stew is even better the next day.

Colcannon

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds moderately starchy potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium leek, chopped, thoroughly rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup quality unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Fry the bacon in a large pan until crispy then use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a plate until ready to use.  Leave about 2 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pan.

Add the chopped greens to the pan and saute them in the bacon grease until soft, 7-8 minutes.

While the greens are cooking, start the potatoes boiling.  Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft. Thoroughly drain all water from the potatoes.

While the potatoes are still piping hot, add 2/3 of the butter, warm milk and cream. Use a manually masher to mash the potatoes.

Add the cooked greens, bacon, green onions. Stir to combine. Add the salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt according to preference.

Spoon into a serving bowl, make a small well in the center and add the remaining 1/3 butter in the well. Garnish with the reserved bacon and green onions. Serve immediately.

Serving with Traditional Irish Stew you can put the Colcannon into the bowl of stew. Delicious!

Irish Soda Bread

A good old fashioned soda bread with just the basic ingredients. Buttermilk gives this crusty loaf a good flavor. The best Irish soda bread around!

Servings: 20

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup buttermilk

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

If you don´t have buttermilk you can make your own with  milk and some lemonjuice.

Mom’s Lard Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water, a tablespoon at a time, until pastry holds together. Shape into a ball; chill for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Transfer to a 10-in. pie plate. Flute edges; fill and make a lid with pastry. Decorate if you wish and make a small hole in the middle. Bake in preheated oven at 350 Fahrenheit ( 175 – 180 Celsius degrees ) for about 30-40  minutes, until golden brown.

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