Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread - 2 Delicious #Recipes

Irish Stew made with B&Z Brown Ale
It's that time of year. March has me wishing for spring, but the winter winds continue to blow something fierce through the woods behind my house, sounding as loud as a freight train. The chilly temperatures call for something hot and hearty. Here's a meal that is sure to stick to your bones and ward off the cold. Enjoy!

Irish Beef Stew

The broth of this stew is so rich and complex that it completely transforms everyday beef cubes, potatoes, and carrots into something extraordinary. I. Am. Not. Joking. I used a brown ale home-brewed by my son (the "B" in B & Z), but any store-bought brown ale will do.


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ pounds of chuck beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef stock (store bought is fine)
1 cup of hearty brown ale
1 cup of good red wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 - 3 bay leaves, depending on the size
3 pounds golden potatoes, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
5 - 6 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Sear the beef cubes until brown on all sides. Work in batches if necessary. Crowding the pan will steam the beef, not brown it. The resulting brown bits in the bottom of the pot add lots of flavor to the finished stew. Searing the meat should take about 8 minutes. Remove all beef from the pot and set aside.

Add garlic to the pot and sauté for about a minute. Add beef stock, brown ale, red wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to simmer. Add beef back to the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

After meat has cooked for an hour, add potatoes, onion, and carrots to the stew. Simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately 30 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in fresh parsley and serve this rich, delicious stew steaming hot.

Irish Soda Bread
Real Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread is a quick bread that uses baking soda as the leavening ingredient, rather than yeast. The buttermilk contains lactic acid that reacts with the soda to make the dough rise. Do not knead this bread. Simply mix, pat into a circle and bake. The resulting "round" of baked bread will be rustic and lumpy. The crust will be crisp and the inside will be dense and chewy. Here's an interesting tidbit: read the oldest known recipe for Irish Soda Bread at the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.


4 cups cake flour (all purpose will also work)
1 ½  teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk


Heat oven to 425º F. Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray. (I bake my soda bread directly on a pizza stone.)

Combine flour, soda, and salt in a large bowl. Gradually stir in buttermilk, mixing constantly, until dough is moist enough to be gathered into a ball. If dough is dry, add a little more buttermilk, a couple tablespoons at a time, until it's moist enough to hold together.

Place dough on a lightly floured board and pat into an 8-inch round loaf. Don't over handle it to avoid developing the gluten.  
Place loaf on baking sheet and slash the traditional, deep "X" into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.

Bake about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Serve warm with soften butter.


MP McDonald said...

That sounds really good! I love beef stew and I haven't made any in a few months. Guess I know what I need to add to my grocery list now. :-)

Anonymous said...

M'mmm, both recipes sound delicious, Donna! Thanks for sharing. Haven't made beef stew yet this winter, I'll have to hurry!

Delene Yochum said...

I have everything to make this but the Ale and a visit to the store will solve that. Was doing a Pot Roast this weekend and may do this instead including the Soda Bread. My Dad..since we are McFarlin's will love this ;)

cashmere said...

Mouth watering recipes. Wish I could eat this now! Will have to wait till I can get everything to cook it.