Stew was an important meal in Irish history, as the meat used was really a byproduct of the wool and milk producers. Mutton, goat or—if you were real lucky—lamb, was used to make the traditional dish with root vegetables grown in Ireland. It was a simple dish made with potatoes, carrots, onions and parsley.
Over a couple of centuries some things do change and so have the ingredients found in the traditional Irish stew. A can of dark beer is used to darken the broth, while celery and peas can be added to the modern version to enhance flavor and add that little bit of Irish green to the mix.
Hunters making Irish stew can’t go wrong with neck, hock, flank, or even cubed center or eye of round roasts. Deer, moose and elk are all flavorful and will stew down to tender morsels that make superb gravy. Make sure to build a big stew, as it is always better the second day, so you should plan for leftovers—in Irish fashion.
• 2 lbs. stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes • 2 cups beef broth (can use 2 cups of water with 1 Tbsp. beef bouillon) • 1 can dark beer (preferably Guinness) • 3 cups sliced carrots • 1½ cups chopped onion • 4 cups cubed red potatoes (cut about same size as meat pieces) • ½ cup sliced celery • 1 cup peas (frozen or fresh) • 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce • ½ tsp. salt • ½ tsp. pepper • ¾ cup all-purpose flour • 3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
In a sealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt and pepper. Add meat cubes, seal bag and shake until the meat is coated. Heat oil in a 6-quart pot or Dutch oven and brown meat over medium-high heat for 8 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients, add liquids, cover the pot, and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Let the stew simmer for 1½ hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally to prevent any portion from sticking to your pot or getting overcooked.
This stew recipe is a great recipe for any hunting camp. A Weston vacuum sealer can be used to bag and take your stew to camp frozen or ready to reheat. The Weston sealer bags can simply be placed in boiling water to reheat the stew, reducing the amount of cleanup at the end of the meal. And the water to boil can be used to wash the day’s dishes.