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Irish Beef Stew

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“While my husband and I were vacationing in the Cayman Islands, we had the pleasure of dining at Fidel Murphy’s Irish Pub on Grand Cayman,” writes Regina Stewart of Acworth, Georgia. “We travel a lot and have enjoyed many good Irish stews, but the pub’s rendition is the best ever.”


Makes 4 to 6 servings


/4 cup vegetable oil


1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces


large garlic cloves, minced


cups beef stock or canned beef broth


tablespoons tomato paste


tablespoon sugar


tablespoon dried thyme


tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


bay leaves


tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter


pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)


large onion, chopped


cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots


tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Step 1

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

How would you rate Irish Beef Stew?

  • I’ve made this many times and we just love it. I find it very flavorful and relatively easy to make. Like others have said, I cut back on the amount of potatoes and use 2 1/4lbs. of beef. That ratio works out better. Good on a cold night!

  • Excellent stew! Broth & flavor were excellent. All 3 diners agreed that it would be worth saving to make again, with very small changes.

    General consensus was that the veggies-to-meat ratio was slightly off. 2/3 people wanted more carrots, onions, & meat (compared to potatoes & broth). 1/3 person wanted just more carrots & onions.

    (We snuck a tiny bit of celery in too. This is an easy stew recipe to get rid of leftover veggies in.)

    Lastly, the vegetables really can’t sauté for 20 minutes before simmering in the stew for 40 minutes without dissolving entirely. We sautéed all veggies for just 10 minutes, but after the 40 minute simmer, even the potatoes were slightly too soft & had the skins falling off.

    All in all, fairly minor changes to a happily repeatable recipe!

  • My family and I love this Irish stew. I have a few Irish stew recipes; this is our favorite. It has a lot of flavor and is perfect for chilly evenings.

  • A simple recipe easily remembered for next time, looking for an Irish stew now with Guiness

  • This is the perfect winter stew. I made a few modifications to max flavor. First I doubled the beef, used 2.5 lb potatoes, and added extra carrots for sweetness. I salt and peppered, then lightly floured the beef before browning. Sauteed the onions in the oil after the browning step, added s&p, then added the tomato paste and fried that for a few minutes. Deglaze with a tall can of Guinness (reducing stock to 4 cups). Used 6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme. At the vegetables step seasoned with s&p and stirred in 3 tbsp flour after they were browned, like you do with chowder, and after adding the veg to the stew I deglazed that pan with some leftover red wine. Also, I baked it for ease – the beef and stock (after coming to a simmer on stovetop) for an hour at 325F, and for another hour after adding in the veg. Salt and pepper at the end to taste. Rich, beefy, hearty with a slightly thick, glossy gravy perfect for sopping with bread.

  • Great tasting Irish stew. I add chilli flakes for a little spice.

  • I’ve made this maybe a dozen times. It’s very good…but needs a bit of tweaking. More beef…less potatoes. 6 cups stock/broth. Add a little beer or red wine to deglaze. Thicken w/corn starch in water if necessary. I prefer it without potatoes over egg noodles…but my better half likes potatoes…so I’ve made it both ways. I also use a wok to saute the vast amount of veggies.

  • I’ve made this three times now. I double the beef and reduce the potatoes to 2 lbs. I also doubles the carrots because my son loves carrots in stew. It’s a crowd favorite. I’ve even made this for a small dinner party when it turned out to be a cold a rainy day. My guests loved it.

  • I loved this stew. I modified the recipe in the following ways 1) 2 lbs of beef 2) 2 lbs of potatoes (I had small boiling potatoes and quartered them unpeeled) and a half pound of chopped mushrooms 3) deglazed the veggie pan with Guinness beer (Irish beer for Irish stew…) 4) 2 tablespoons of corn starch to thicken it at the end (stirred with 2 tbsp cold water before adding.) Reading the recipe, I agree with other reviewers that it is lite on the beef and heavy on the potatoes – I thought the amounts I used were great. I also agree that you need an enormous pan to brown the veggies all at once – but I have one. I cooked it on low for 3 hours and then browned and added the veggies. It was not thick like stew so I added the cornstarch – that did it. It was exactly was I was hoping for on this typical all-day-drizzle winter day in the Pacific Northwest. I think the thyme and Worcestershire add good flavor to this stew. I will make this again with those modifications.

  • Meh. It’s a soup, not a stew. And it doesn’t have much flavor. I actually felt bad for the person who posted who called it the “best ever.” If we made it again we would make many of the modifications that others suggest…we would rather find another recipe.

  • Exactly how large of a pan am I supposed to “sauté” 3 QUARTS of veg in? does no one read this stuff? seriously 7c plus 2.5 c plus 1.5c is 12 cups of veg that’s supposed to be golden in 20 minutes?
    modify as follows if you’re going to muddle through:
    chop veg to 3/4″ cubes.
    saute carrots, onions and potatoes separately in 4 batches in a large skillet each with 1.5 tbsp butter, to brown exterior. set aside and add to stock pot at once when last batch is browned.
    deglaze saute pan with 1/2c dark beer, red wine, or broth from stock pot. – add liquid to stock pot.

    good flavor, but not exactly what i think of for irish stew. recipe instructions horrible unless you have a commercial tilt skillet.

  • Made this for the family with some cornbread. It was delish, although I had to sub the Worcestershire sauce it was still good.

  • I like the stew but thought it had too little beef and too many potatoes. I doubled the beef and found the ratio of beef to potatoes to be much better. Don’t just reduce the amount of potatoes without reducing the stock or you will have just a big pot of stock and not much else.

  • I’ve been using this recipe for years. Still the best beef stew ever. I often make it as written and it’s very good, but I do think it’s improved by adding some beer – anywhere from a half to a whole bottle, depending on taste. The type of beer doesn’t matter much, I always use whatever we have in the house. My husband loves it as well, especially with a chunk of warm, fresh soda bread on the side (which is SO easy – and fairly quick – to make). This is his most requested meal. It’s also great to make when we have friends over for a casual dinner. A real crowd pleaser. Works great in the slow cooker, too!

  • This is the best beef stew! I am not interested in seeing any other beef stew recipes. I used fresh thyme instead of dried, and used more garlic and onions than the recipe calls for, as I usually do, and more beef. Try using Better than Bouillon stock (reduced sodium); it really adds some flavor. Very tasty meal!!!

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