Soups and stews are one of the perfect comfort foods that fall has to offer. And this one, this Irish Beef Stew, is one of the best we’ve found. It is the quintessential comfort stew. With some bread on the side to soak up more of that delicious sauce and you have the perfect dish to enjoy on a crisp, cool fall day. The aroma that fills your house as the stew is cooking throughout the day should be bottled up and sold as a fall candle.
Irish Beef Stew
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 pounds beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, cut in 1 1/2 inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 1/2 cups stout beer
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 bay leaves
3 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large yellow onion, cut in 1-inch pieces
1 large rutabaga, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
1 large parsnip, cut in 3/4-inch pieces
(We’ve used potatoes rather than rutabaga and parsnip when we’ve made it)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 C). Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat in an oven-proof pot or Dutch oven. Season the beef all over with salt and pepper. Add beef in batches to pot in one layer, without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining beef. Return beef to pot and add to garlic. Saute 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook stirring, one minute. Add stock, beef, thyme, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. The meat should be just covered with liquid. If not, add additional stock or beer to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to simmer and cover. Transfer pot to oven. Bake until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
While the meat is cooking heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and lightly sprinkle with salt. Saute the vegetables until they brigten in color and begin to take on a golden hue, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove beef from oven. Skim any fat on the surface of the liquid with a spoon. Add vegetables to the beef, stirring to combine. Return beef to the oven, uncovered. Bake one hour, stirring once or twice, until the sauce is slightly reduced, the vegetables are tender and the meat if fork-tender. Remove and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.
Happy fall eating, my friends.