Food & Wine
Irish Beef Stew for St Paddy’s Day
President of the Durban Chapter, Mandy Slabbert, loves getting busy in the kitchen.
“I went to Ballymaloe Cookery School in Cork, and renowned chef Rachel Allen did a three-day cookery course, and one of the best recipes she shared with us was her Irish Stew Recipe.”
According to Rachel, the definitive recipe for Irish stew simply doesn’t exist because each household has its own family recipe.
“Many people make their stew by placing alternate layers of meat, onions, carrots and potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper, in a pot, covering with water, and stewing gently for a couple of hours. If you sear the meat and vegetables before stewing, as we do at Ballymaloe, it seals in the delicious sweet flavours.”
So, without further ado here is Rachel Allen’s…
Irish beef stew
Preparation time: less than 30 mins
Cooking time: 1 to 2 hours
- 1½kg/3lb 5oz stewing beef, cut into cubes
- 175g/6oz streaky bacon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 12 baby onions, peeled
- 18 button mushrooms, left whole
- 3 carrots, cut into quarters or 12 baby carrots, scrubbed and left whole
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 10 cloves of garlic, crushed and grated
- 425ml/15fl oz red wine
- 425ml/15fl oz chicken or beef stock
For the roux
- Brown the beef and bacon in the olive oil in a hot casserole or heavy saucepan.
- Remove the meat and toss in the onions, mushrooms and carrots, one ingredient at a time, seasoning each time.
- Place these back in the casserole, along with the herbs and garlic.
- Cover with red wine and stock and simmer for one hour or until the meat and vegetables are cooked.
- To make the roux, in a separate pan melt the butter, add the flour and cook for two minutes.
- When the stew is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables.
- Bring the remaining liquid to the boil and add one tbsp of roux.
- Whisk the mixture until the roux is broken up and the juices have thickened, allowing to boil.
- Replace the meat and vegetables, and taste for seasoning.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with champ.
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