For the liquid, I used a bottle of Guinness beer because it's from Ireland, and homemade poultry broth (chicken and turkey) from my freezer. You can use a different beer, or substitute an additional 12 oz. of broth (1 1/2 cups) if you'd rather not use beer. Beef broth will provide a more robust flavor, and vegetable broth imparts a lighter flavor.
You'll want to begin this recipe in the morning because it takes some time to brown the meat on the stove (essential for best flavor) and to chop all the vegetables. Once everything is in the crock pot or slow cooker, you can pretty much ignore it, or stir it just once or twice if you wish. Plan on letting the stew cook for 5 to 6 hours on High, or 10 to 12 hours on Low, and somewhere in between if your crock pot or slow cooker has an alternating Hi-Low setting.
|Browning the meat|
2 lbs stew meat (lamb, beef or combination), cut into 1" chunks.
1 to 2 Tbs oil or bacon fat (or combination)
1 medium rutabaga (approx 1 lb or 2 1/2 cups chopped )
1 large russet potato (approx 3/4 lb or 2 1/2 cups chopped)
2 medium parsnips (approx 1/2 lb or 2 cups chopped)
2 small carrots (approx 1/4 lb or 1 cup chopped)
2 medium onions (I forgot to weigh/measure, sorry!)
1 small cabbage (approx. 1 lb)
1 bottle Guinness beer
3 cups broth (beef, poultry, vegetable or combination)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
|Onions, cabbage & root vegs|
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp marjoram OR 3/4 tsp oregano
Heat the oil or fat in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the meat on all sides. While the meat is browning, peel the root vegetables and chop into small chunks, about 1 to 1 1/2" (cut the onions into wedges instead of cubes). Trim the cabbage and cut into thin wedges.
|Irish stew is simmering|
PS: If you're celebrating St. Patrick's Day with traditional Irish foods, you may be interested in my Irish soda bread recipe, or our Irish Cheese Assortment, or one of these Irish Food Gift Baskets & Gift Sets. And if you enjoy spicy foods, you might my Spicy Irish Stew recipe posted a while back.