Out of the gate is the traditional Irish stew made with potatoes and beef native to Ireland. Lamb, goat and mutton were the meat of choice in ancient times, cooked with potatoes and water.  The Celts didn’t possess the cauldrons that hung-over cooking pits in their households, until the Greeks invented it in the 7thcentury.  This take uses beef and the results are equally as spectacular.

1 LB of beef chuck – fat trimmed and cut into medium sized chunks

2 cloves of garlic – minced

1 bay leaf

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

2 TSP tomato paste

4 cups of beef stock

1 bottle or can of Guinness Stout

½ sweet onion – rough chopped

4 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks

3-4 carrots – scrubbed clean and medium diced

2 parsnips – scrubbed and medium diced

1 TSP kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

1 TBSP cornstarch

Fresh chopped parsley

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

Dry the beef cubes well and season liberally with salt and pepper.  In a large Dutch oven, brown the meat on all sides, working in separate batches. Remove to a plate.  Add the garlic, salt pepper, bay leaf and tomato paste. Cook for a couple of minutes to blend together.  Add the Guinness, stock and the beef chunks.  Simmer on low for about 2 hours, stirring for time to time.  Remove from the heat, cool and skim off fat.

In a skillet, heat about 1 TBSP of olive oil and add the onion.  Sauté for a few minutes to give some color.  Add the carrots and the potatoes and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the lot to the Dutch oven with the meat, reheat and simmer for about 1½ hours.

Dissolve the cornstarch in some cold water and add to the stew about 10 minutes before cooking time is done.  Stir in parsley and serve with a loaf of crusty bread and a fresh green salad.

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