I am not Irish. Obviously. But growing up, I did not understand kids who were IRISH and NOT wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day were pinch-able. Everyone was fair game where I lived. And I’d get pinched for not wearing green because I wasn’t a fan of green. Again, not Irish. Obviously. But I didn’t know to speak up. It’s also possible I told kids that I was Irish, not because I was in denial about my ethnicity, but my Dad has some luck of the Irish in him. But me, not so much. Damn you pinchers!
Also to those with puzzled faces, I am adopted so my Dad’s affinity for shamrocks (which to be clear he actually does not have) is not part of my DNA.
A St. Patrick’s Day Miracle
For years I wasn’t a St. Patrick’s Day fan until a friend made corned beef and cabbage to celebrate the holiday. It was so freaking amazing. And yes, I am aware that corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional St. Patty’s Day dinner in Ireland but good food is good food. And it was so good that I decided to no longer hold a grudge against St. Patty’s Day.
To be clear I still hold a grudge against those pinchers. Jerks.
While I will maintain, forever and ever, that green beer is super yucky, Irish food is delicious and their ability to put (regular) beer in many dishes, like beef stew, is admirable.
So what’s Irish Beef Stew? It’s like any traditional beef stew but made with broth AND beer. But not green beer. Cuz that’s gross. Guinness, if you please. And if you don’t, that’s cool too. You do you. Just not green beer and don’t pinch me for not wearing green either.
Sorry, still bitter.
A Twist on a Classic
Now let’s talk some more about this stew. Traditional beef stew typically has big potato chunks, which I love. But I decided to go crazy and eliminate the potatoes. Yes, you read correctly, I left out potatoes, also known as my favorite carb. And I replaced them with …. mashed potatoes. Puhleeze, as if I could abandon the very best carb in the world.
But seriously, serving the stew over creamy, dreamy mashed potatoes is genius. It minimizes the bitterness of the Guinness while giving the dish another interesting texture. This hearty soup was perfect during the recent cold, rainy spell we experienced (are still experiencing) in LA. Pair it with some beer bread and you’re good to go!
Crockpot Irish Beef StewServes 6
- 2 lbs of beef stew meat
- 3-4 carrots, sliced
- 2-3 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 can Guinness (or your preferred beer)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons water
- Mashed potatoes for serving
- Coat 4 quart slow cooker with non-stick spray. Turn on to low. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper and brown beef in a single layer on all sides. Add to slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef.
- Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, sugar, beef broth, beer, and salt and pepper to crockpot.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours (depending on your crockpot, it may take less time) until meat is tender.
- In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Add cornstarch mixture and balsamic vinegar to stew. Stir to combine. Turn heat to high and cook, covered, for another 30 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve over mashed potatoes.
Special NotesYou can add 3 cups diced potatoes if you prefer the more traditional stew. You will need to adjust your liquids, add another 2 cups of broth, and use 5 or 6 quart crockpot. Cooking time will remain the same.
I can’t swear that version is 100% authentic, but it is so good that even a leprechaun would love it. And hopefully grant me a wish or two as thanks.
Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Are you one of those pinchers for no reason? Do you agree green beer is the worst?