Since I won’t be drinking any green beer this St. Paddy’s Day, I figured we could celebrate with a big slow cooker full of Irish stew instead.
Honestly I’ve never made an Irish stew because the recipes always sound so bland. Determined to make an Irish stew full of flavour, I scoured some recipes online and checked Cooks Illustrated for reference. By taking some of the tips from Cooks Illustrated and tweaking this recipe we ended up with a slow cooker Irish stew that got devoured.
Cook: 6 hours (low) or 3 hours (high)
Yield: 8 servings (prepared in a 6.5 quart slow cooker)
Heat 1 tbsp oil in large skillet, when it start to shimmer add the beef cubes in a single layer to brown for approximately for 3-4 minutes per side. (You may need to do this in batches.)
Meanwhile place the potatoes, turnip and carrots into your slow cooker.
When the meat is browned, transfer it to your slow cooker insert.
Reduce heat to medium, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits, until onions have browned, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the remaining salt, the pepper, thyme, bay leaves and beer to the pan. Bring to a simmer and transfer to your slow cooker insert.
Pour the beef stock into the slow cook.
Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours).
Stir the corn starch into cold water until it is smooth and milky. Set your slow cooker to high and stir the dissolved cornstarch into the stew along with the minced parsley. Cook for another 15-30 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
Remove the bay leaves and serve.