Mar 15th, 2011

Slow Cooker St. Patrick's Day Irish Stew

Packed with flavour from a rich stout beer, meat, thyme and of course carrots, potatoes and turnip, this stew is sure to satisfy everyone at your table this St.Patrick’s Day.

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.

Slow Cooker Irish Stew

Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 6 hours (low) or 3 hours (high)
Yield: 8 servings (prepared in a 6.5 quart slow cooker)

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 lbs cubed beef or lamb stewing meat
  • 6 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed turnip
  • 3 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 cups Guiness (or other stout beer)
  • 2 tsp dry thyme
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  •  12 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 cups beef stock (or water + 1 bouillon cube)
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  •  14 cup cold water
  •  13 cup minced parsley leaves

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.