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  • Writer's pictureTina

Foodie Friday: Irish Beef Stew and Soda Scones




Happy St. Patrick’s Day, dear reader. On this day, when we celebrate our love of all things Irish, I will share my favorite recipe for Irish Stew. In 2015, I spent two whirlwind weeks in Ireland. It was a lovely trip, and I got to experience Irish cuisine firsthand. One of the things I like to do when I travel is try new foods specific to the region. I must admit, Irish cuisine took a bit of getting used to. Probably most shocking to me was when we disembarked from the plane at 7:00 a.m. in Dublin airport and entered the food court, everyone was drinking Guinness and eating eggs. I was shocked that people were drinking beer so early in the morning. I do not have the tastebuds or stomach for beer, especially dark beer, before late in the afternoon.


Also surprising to me was that the Irish eat at least one potato dish with each meal. There are potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After a week of traditional Irish cuisine, I craved good old American pizza. I placed an order for delivery at a local Papa John’s and was confused when they asked me if I wanted crisps or chips with my order. I stammered over my answer, and the young girl on the other end of the line giggled and asked if I was from The States. When I laughed and told her yes, she offered me both crisps and chips free of charge. It was a new experience for me. I’ve never ordered French fries and potato chips with my pizza before.


Before my trip to Ireland, I had never eaten lamb. The thought of eating something so innocent and sweet never appealed to me. However, when in Rome or, in this case, Ireland, do as the Irish do. I ate a mutton stew, lamb chops, and leg of mutton. Lamb and mutton were okay, but I haven’t eaten either since my travels. The recipe I will share with you today is for Irish beef stew. In the states, beef is easier to find and much more common than lamb or mutton. I have been making this stew on St. Patrick’s Day for the past several years. I serve it with homemade Irish soda scones and Irish apple cake. My bean used to be thrilled when I would make a traditional Irish meal on St. Patrick’s Day. Now that she is fourteen, it’s kind of like everything else, met with an eye roll and some attitude. Sigh. Regardless of The Bean’s lack of enthusiasm, I hope you enjoy my favorite Irish stew and easy-to-prepare soda scones.


Irish Beef Stew

Ingredients:

¼ Cup Olive Oil

1 ¼ Pounds Stew Beef

6 Cloves of Garlic, Minced

6 Cups of Beef Stock

1 Cup Guinness Beer

1 Cup of Red Wine

2 TBLS. Tomato Paste

1 TBLS. Sugar

1 TBLS. Dried Thyme

1 TBLS. Worcestershire Sauce

2 Bay Leaves

2 TBLS. Butter

3 Pounds Potatoes, Peeled and Cubed

1 Bag Frozen Pearl Onions

1 Bag Frozen Baby Peas

2 Cups Peeled, Sliced Carrots

Salt and Pepper to Taste

2 TBLS. Chopped, Fresh Parsley


Directions:

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the beef and saute until brown on all sides. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about one minute. Add the beef stock, Guinness, wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.


While the beef is simmering, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes, onion, peas, and carrots. Saute the vegetables until they are golden, about twenty minutes. Set aside until the beef has simmered for an hour.


Combine the vegetable, beef, and stock. Simmer uncovered until the vegetables and beef are very tender. At this point, you may also add the stew to a crockpot, set it on the low setting and cook for 4-6 hours. Skim the fat from the top of the stew. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl. Top with the fresh parsley and serve hot.


Irish Soda Scones


Ingredients:

3 1/3 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

2 TBLS. Granulated Sugar

1 3/4 Cups Buttermilk


Directions:


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.


Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.


Slowly add the buttermilk to the dry ingredients mixing until the dough is shaggy but not too sticky. You may not use all the buttermilk.


Place the dough on a well-floured surface and knead lightly to bring it together. Gently pat the dough into a disc about 1 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter or drinking glass, cut out eight scones.


Place the scones on the prepared baking pan, reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes until raised and golden on top.


Serve warm with butter and jam alongside the stew.


On this rainy St. Patricks Day, stay safe, be smart, may your year be filled with good luck and blessings, and keep washing your hands.

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