Irish Stew Even Kids Will Eat

bowl-of-irish-stew-2This photo is from Kelley Chisholm’s Irish Stew recipe here, with permission. Check out her other great recipes!

Last semester my 2nd grader had to do a presentation about his ancestry, for which he interviewed my father about his Irish heritage and the first relative who came to America from Ireland in the early 1900’s. There was much conjecture, since we are descended from poor Irish working folk, who didn’t exactly leave detailed registries of our lineage. Still, my son was able to cobble together a sense of what life was like for a young boy in Ireland who came to America during that time, and his presentation was precious.

Another part of the assignment had to do with food. This project has become something of a rite of passage at my children’s school: parents are asked to bring a dish to this presentation that is indicative of the cuisine from their ancestor’s culture. Since the Irish aren’t exactly known for their culinary delights, and I am short on time, I chose a simple Irish Stew. It is easy to throw everything into a crockpot, turn it on, and walk away. My favorite.

Actually, what is really my favorite thing about this stew is that the children loved it. Imagine a roomful of 2nd-graders and one or both of their parents eating something you made, spooning it out of little cups, and going back for more. One little girl flitted past me, eagerly downing her stew, exclaiming “This is AMAZING!” It was like I spiked the pot with pixie dust or something.

But I think it was just the thyme.

Here is the recipe I adapted from Taste of Home:

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1-1/2 pounds stew beef
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
8 new potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons water

1. Place 1/3 cup flour in a large resealable plastic bag. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.
2. In a saute pan, brown beef in batches in 2 tablespoons oil. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, saute onions in remaining oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
3. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan.
4. Pour broth into crockpot. Add beef, potatoes, and carrots. Cook for 4 hours on low or until meat and vegetables are cooked through.
5. Add frozen peas, seasonings, and Worchestershire sauce.
6. Combine remaining flour with water until smooth; stir into stew. Cook for 30 minutes until peas are tender and stew is thickened.

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irish stew