Test Kitchen Tuesdays: Irish Beef Stew & Colcannon

Thursday is St. Patrick’s Day so early on I wanted to make Irish food this week. We don’t really celebrate St. Patrick’s; however, I see it as a fun way to learn and expand the recipe file, which is what Test Kitchen Tuesday is all about.  Even though corned beef and cabbage is a common meal for this holiday, it is not one of our favorites, so I settled on Irish Beef Stew.  For those who already have their corned beef purchased, Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes) is another recipe you might like to try as a side dish (we will be trying this one with sweet potatoes).  If you would like to join-in, here’s how.

In the next week or so:

1. Make the recipe (posted below)
2. Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, or suggestions.  ♥ If you focus on altering it to economize, choose healthier ingredients or techniques, make it gluten-free/allergy sensitive, embellish for entertaining, or incorporate into batch/once-a-month cooking, please mention that too.
3. Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4. If you are feeling especially proud of your creation, snap a picture and send it to me at savoringtoday@comcast.net so it can be included the post.

Irish Beef Stew

Source: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/irish_beef_stew/
Serves 4 to 6
1/4      cup  olive oil
1 1/4   pounds  chuck beef stew meat — cut into 1″ pieces (NOT extra-lean)
6           large  garlic cloves — minced
6           cups  beef stock or canned beef broth
1           cup of Guinness beer
1           cup  fine red wine
2           tablespoons  tomato paste
1           tablespoon  sugar
1           tablespoon  dried thyme
1           tablespoon  Worcestershire sauce
2          bay leaves
2          tablespoons  butter — (1/4 stick)
3          pounds  russet potatoes — peeled, cut into 1/2″ pieces (about 7 cups)
1           large  onion — chopped
2          cups  1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
2          tablespoons  chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Lightly salt the beef pieces. Working in batches if necessary, add the beef (do not crowd the pan, or the meat will steam and not brown) and cook, without stirring, until nicely browned on one side, then use tongs to turn the pieces over. Continue to cook in this manner until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, Guinness, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

While the meat and stock is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside until the beef stew in step one has simmered for one hour.

Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. Transfer stew to serving bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Colcannon

Source: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/colcannon/
Serves 4
4      russet potatoes — (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) peeled and cut into large chunks
5      tablespoons  unsalted butter — (with more butter for serving)
3      lightly packed cups of chopped kale — cabbage, chard, etc.
3      green onions — (including the green onion greens) — minced
1      cup  milk or cream
Salt

Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander.

Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it’s hot, add the greens. Cook the greens for 3-4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water. Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.

Pour in the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium. Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens. Add salt to taste and serve hot, with a knob of butter in the center.

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5 responses to “Test Kitchen Tuesdays: Irish Beef Stew & Colcannon

  1. Pingback: Test Kitchen Bonus: Bacon Irish Soad Bread | Savoring Today

  2. I must say, making three new recipes in one day proved to be a bit time consuming…though I’m not sure it was the recipes as much as the alterations I was making that prolonged the process. Here’s my notes on these two:

    Irish Beef Stew
    1. Increased the amount of beef–1 1/4 lbs didn’t seem like enough–I went with 2 1/2 lbs.
    2. Added celery; increased carrots
    3. Used the entire 12 oz. bottle of Guinness rather than just 8 oz.
    4. I didn’t like the idea of leaving the onions out of the first hour of simmering with the meat, so I caramelized the onions and celery to add-in with the meat.
    5. As you can see by the photo, I didn’t add potatoes to the stew. I wanted to make Sweet Potato Colcannon as a side. With this in mind, I decreased the amount of beef stock to 3 cups, which worked great.

    Overall, this is a good recipe. I think using lamb rather than beef would make it even better.

    Colcannon
    We don’t eat potatoes much anymore, mainly sweet potatoes, so I combined the cooking technique of Mashed Sweet Potatoes and this recipe to create Sweet Potato Colcannon. I liked the earthiness the kale brought to the sweet potatoes; I will make this one again.

  3. Looks like I will try this one, I love stews and this stew looks like and good pair for rice as well

  4. Great stew! The changes I made:
    1. Doubled beef-browned in pan with garlic and transferred to crockpot
    2. Added bottle and a half of guiness, no red wine.
    Everything else stayed the same!

    • I wondered about using a crock pot, but wasn’t sure, thanks for letting me know that. I thought just using Guinness would work too, but I always have red wine available.

      It really is fun to do this with someone and have the feedback, thanks!!!

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