Dinners

Traditional Irish Stew…

Friday night, Amanda came over. We were so excited about how it feels like Fall is officially here. The leaves have just started to change in Ann Arbor and the air is crisp and chilly. The gray clouds hanging overhead seem familiar and comforting. I am probably the only person who will call those clouds comforting, but I love cloudy, Fall days. Friday, as every day has been for the past week and a half, was a perfect Fall day. So Amanda and I were inspired to make a warm, homey dish and I’d been craving beef for days. We decided to go for a traditional Irish stew. 

I started by cutting beef stew cuts into bite-sized chunks…

…and then tossed them in flour and herbs.

Then I put the meat into the only clean pan I had to brown it in…my wok. 

I cooked the meat until it only had some pink spots left. Amanda took out the beef so that we could start working with the vegetables in the wok.

Amanda was in charge of chopping the vegetables…

We put the vegetables in the bottom of the wok to steam them a bit first. We noticed that we had a bit of burnt stuff at the bottom, so after the vegetables had steamed for a minute, we poured in beef broth and scraped the bottom of the pan to get out the burnt, but flavorful, stuff.

While Amanda was cutting up red potatoes to add to the stew later, she came across a potato that was larger than every other ‘tato in the bag. It was at least twice the size. Amanda wanted the world to see this potato. So, I present to you the Mega-tato.

This is the Megatato. It was delicious.

As I mentioned before, the only clean pan I had that was big enough to cook stew in was my wok. Yet, another strange incident in my kitchen. I am very proud to say that it worked!

I added the beef back to the stew, and we let it simmer for half an hour. 

We added chopped red potatoes and garlic…

…And we let our stew stew for 40 minutes. 

In the last 10 minutes, I whisked some flour and water together, and poured it into the stew. Then I turned up the heat and let it boil for ten minutes.

It was a glorious stew, absolutely perfect for Fall. The broth was lovely and thick, and the vegetables were cooked thoroughly. All of the deep flavors in the stew made me feel all warm and cozy. The beef held on to its own flavors and I made sure to put plenty in my bowl. We were lucky to have some leftover, but then we Amanda and I fought over the leftovers. We were able to split it so that we each got a decent amount of stew, but I still think she got more beef than I did…Sneaky girl…

Now that I know how to make this stew, I’ll be stopping by Kroger on my way home and grabbing beef stew cuts so that I can have an easy and incredible dinner. This stew didn’t take much effort at all! I can’t wait to make more…

Recipe for Traditional Irish Stew

2 lbs. beef stew cuts
2 large carrots
2 large celery stalks
1 large onion
Thyme
Rosemary
Salt
Pepper
Parsley
3-4 cloves garlic
5-6 red potatoes
Quart of beef broth
Chop the vegetables into large, bite-sized chunks. Chop the garlic finely. Cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Then measure out ¼ cup of flour into a bowl. Add 2 pinches of each herb to it. Put the beef in and mix it together so that the meat is coated.  Warm a skillet to cook the beef in (or, if you want to make it like us, prepare the meat in your wok) and give it a good swig of olive oil. Then brown the meat so that it‘s half cooked with some pink on the meat. Pour the broth into the pan and scrape at the bottom of the pan to release the flavors from cooking the meat (it’s also so that you won’t have weirdo goopy crust at the bottom of your stew!). Add the garlic and vegetables and let the soup simmer for 30 min.. Chop the potatoes into bite-sized chunks and add them to the stew. Let it simmer for another 40 min. Whisk together 1 tablespoon of flour and 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the stew. Then turn up the heat and boil the stew for 10 minutes.

 

 
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