Irish Stew

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(click on pic to enlarge)

Irish stew (Stobhach Gaelach) is any variety of meat and root vegetables. Originally, the dish used goat meat and now mostly made with lamb. However, lamb can be expensive here and the taste can be too sweet and gamy. My recipe uses pork stew meat. The reason I use pork versus beef is I will brown the pork first to create a fond (The culinary term, French for “base” or “foundation”) as I do in a Jambalaya.

I also use less meat, just enough to add flavor. Most recipes are built around a pound of meat. I use one-half pound. After browning the meat, I will also create a demi-roux (butter and flour) to thicken the fluids and create a gravy, then sauté the mirepoix in the roux. I will then add a bottle of Guinness Stout a cup at a time and whisk creating even thicker gravy. This continues to build flavors.

I will also add whole potatoes, but mashed potatoes if you desire can be added, which will thicken the gravy further. The other root vegetables and the Brussels sprouts (baby cabbage) are then added. Add herbs and more fluids and cook slow for almost 2 hours on a very low heat.

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Ingredients (shown in the picture above, click on pic to enlarge):

Mirepoix
1 small onion – chopped
½ bell pepper, – seeded and chopped
1 celery stalk – peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves – cut into small coins

Meat
½ Lb. stew pork – cubed
2 TBSP olive oil – (for browning meat)

Vegetables
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
12 Brussels sprouts, halved
2 cups potatoes, or as needed – cubed w/skin

Seasoning, Herbs and Stock
Salt and pepper
1 small bay leaf
2 cups chicken stock (or as needed)
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
12 fluid ounce bottle dark beer – Guinness Stout

Demi-Roux
2 TBSP All-purpose flour
2 TBSP butter

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In the olive oil brown the meat and then remove.

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Add the flour and butter and whisk for several minutes until the flour starts to brown.

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Add the mirepoix and sauté until you can smell the onions start to cook.

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Move the mirepoix to one said and add ½ cup of Guinness Stout beer and deglaze that half of the pot.  Move the mirepoix to the other side and add another ½ beer and deglaze the other side.

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Add the remaining beer and stir into a thick paste.

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Add all the remaining ingredients and return the meat.  Add chicken stock until the ingredients are covered.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cook 1½ to 2 hours.

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