Ireland isn’t known for many culinary dishes, that being said a traditional Irish stew is probably the most known dish from Ireland, around the world. It’s believed to be dating to around 1800s. Traditional Irish stew was first made with mutton or lamb, however overtime beef stew became very popular and that’s what you will find in most homes these days.
In the past, stew was believed to be the food of the poor, as it required very few ingredients and could be cooked in bulk and feed the entire family directly from one pot. It’s also believed to be the food of shepherds and farmers, as they had an easy access to those few ingredients and the meal proved to be nourishing.
The stew served at my in-laws calls for a sachet of soup to be added to the pot towards the end to thicken the stew, giving it the salty yet delicious taste. That being said, powdered soup isn’t considered to be a healthy choice and today I’d like to share with you my take on an Irish Stew – the Healthy version with minimal prep required.
- 500g stewing beef
- 1 yellow onion
- 3 carrots
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of plain flour
- 500ml beef stock
- 250g baby potatoes
- Salt & pepper
- 2 celery sticks (optional)
- 1 parsnip (optional)
- 4 medium sized potatoes for mash (optional – please refer to alternatives section)
- Pre-heat the oven to 325F or 160C.
- Finely chop the onion & celery/parsnip (if using).
- Peel & slice the carrots.
- Add oil to a medium sized pot, heat up on a medium to high heat.
- Sautee chunks of stewing beef; then transfer onto a plate.
- Add onion, carrots & celery/parsnip and bay leaf into the same pot and season with salt & pepper. Sautee for 5 minutes (until they start to caramelize).
- Sprinkle with flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the beef stock, return the beef chunks into the pot and add baby potatoes. Bring to a simmer.
- Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish & bake for 1 hour.
- Remove the bay leaf and enjoy.
An alternative option for a little more substantial meal is to remove the baby potatoes & use 4 medium sized rooster potatoes in a form of mash. The saltiness of the beef stock will work nicely with creamy mash potatoes on your plate.
This recipe is a great alternative to the slightly more heavy traditional Irish stew. For a healthy dessert idea, take a look at one of my favorites here.
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