COMFORT FOOD RECIPE: A CLASSIC IRISH BEEF STEW

On St. Patrick’s Day, we’re all Irish… and during the cold winter months, we’re all usually craving food that is warm, comforting, and hearty and Irish Beef Stew recipe has all of those characteristics. It really could not be easier to make and it is also very affordable so it is the perfect recipe for a St. Paddy’s Day (or any) celebration.

Note: Add the carrots and potatoes later in the process so they don’t disintegrate totally during cooking but you do want the potatoes to help thicken the stew as it cooks. For this reason, I add a few potatoes when I add the carrots and reserve the rest for the final 20 minutes of cooking time so they have some texture left.

IRISH BEEF STEW

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 -3 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 2” cubes (you can use stew meat or ask the butcher to cut into cubes for you)

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 white onion, diced small

2 cups red wine

2 cups beef broth plus a bit more, depending on how thick you like your stew

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs fresh thyme

3 sprigs fresh Italian parsley plus more for garnish

6 large carrots, peeled and cut into 2" pieces

4-5 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2" cubes 

DIRECTIONS:

Tie the parsley and the thyme together in a bundle using kitchen twine to make it easy to remove. Set aside.

Add the flour, salt, pepper to a large zip top bag. Shake to combine. Add the meat to the bag and shake to coat all of the pieces evenly.

Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven and place over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the contents of the bag to the pan and brown, turning the meat frequently to cook on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion and cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring often. Once softened slightly, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.

Deglaze the pan using the red wine, scraping up the browned bits of flour from the pan as you go. Stir until you reach a smooth consistency. Once you do, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, clove, thyme, and parsley.

Bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Check after 40 minutes. Stir gently and determine if you need to add more liquid. Add the carrots and a few potatoes. Cover and continue cooking.

After one hour, check again and add the remaining potatoes. You may need to add a bit more broth. Check the seasoning now and determine if you need more salt or pepper. Cook for an additional 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender.

When done, remove the cloves, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Serve over buttered wide egg noodles or with a toasted slice of crusty bread. Garnish with a bit of chopped parsley.

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RECIPE: MARTIE'S FIRE ROASTED CHIPOTLE CHILI

This deliciously smoky chili is simple to make for a huge crowd and your slow cooker does all of the work for you. Make this for your first tailgate party and your friends will want you to make it every game day!

MARTIE'S FIRE ROASTED CHIPOTLE CHILI

Difficulty: Easy

Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 4 up to 8 hours

INGREDIENTS

 2 pounds ground beef

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 bottle of your favorite beer

2-28 ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes, crushed (or whir canned whole tomatoes in the food processor for a few seconds)

2-15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small can sliced Jalapeno peppers, drained and diced very fine (be careful to wash your hands!)

2 cups fresh tomato salsa (find it at most stores or make your own recipe)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chipotle powder (find it in the spice aisle; add a bit more if you like that smoky heat)

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt 

DIRECTIONS:

Brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet (or use your slow cooker if you have one that browns) until the beef is quite brown and the onions are softened. Drain off the liquid. Return to the heat and pour the beer over the mixture to deglaze the pan. Pour that mixture into your crock-pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on your lowest setting for 4 hours for the flavors to develop. Check the salt and seasonings before serving.

Serve with condiments: Sour cream, grated cheese, sliced jalapenos, green onion, hot sauce, or any of your favorite chili toppings.

Yield: 18-(6 ounce) servings or almost 1 gallon of chili

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