Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew

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I’ve been making beef stews for many long years and they’re always mighty delicious and filling. One thing led to another and I ended up all over the internet looking for the answer to a suddenly burning question: What makes an Irish stew Irish? Keep reading to find out little of its culinary history and give my Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew recipe a try. 😊

crock-pot-irish-beef-stew-culinary-craftinessWhat’s so different about it? It seems there’s a plethora of recipes, just as there are for American stews. There are a few historic common denominators in traditional Irish stews – mutton, potatoes, onions, and parsley. Optional ingredients such as leeks, carrots, turnips, streaky bacon, thyme, barley, and/or stout are considered un-authentic, but I say make what you and your family like best.

The aim is to please the palate, not spit out the stew! 😋

You can find more of the history and debate here.

Since my family isn’t fond of lamb or mutton (or goat as might have been the original meat of choice for Celtic stews), I use a nice London broil, arm, or chuck roast and use a slow cooker for my version of Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew. I hope you try it and like it as much as my guys and I do!

You’ll see a lovely slice of bread accompanying the dishes of stew in the pictures. I started making this Irish Soda Bread a few years ago because it looked like the perfect vehicle for mopping up glorious stew broths and gravies. And it is! It’s really easy to make and it’s also incredible simply drenched in real butter and drizzled with honey. 😊 If you want to go full-on Irish, splurge for some Kerrygold butter. It’s divine!

This recipe is for a large 7 or 8 qt. slow cooker or Crock Pot. Reduce the ingredient portions if your cooker is smaller.

Alternatively, you can use a large lidded roaster or Dutch oven and make this in the oven.

Instructions below.Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew + a Little History | Culinary Craftiness

You can brown the meats, peel and chop the vegetables the night before, and store in the fridge for faster prep in the morning if cooking all day. Skip the barley and put the leeks in in the morning if you’re heading off to work. No need to mess with the mashed potatoes. Buy a loaf of crusty bread to sop up the delicious broth in the stew and call it supper!

Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew

2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 lb. slab mostly lean bacon, cut into 2″-3″ chunks, optional
2-3 lbs. cheap roasting meat such as London broil or chuck, cut into 2″-3″ chunks
3 onions, peeled & quartered, or 3 leeks washed and cut into chunks
3 lbs. carrots, peeled & cut into 2″-3″ chunks
2-3 lbs. potatoes, cut into 2″-3″ chunks
8-16 oz. fresh whole mushrooms, optional
2-3 cups beef broth or stock
1/2 cup quick cooking barley
Optional: Reheated leftover mashed potatoes (1 cup) to thicken the stew or boil and mash 2 medium potatoes if you want a thick stew without any juices.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. If using, brown the bacon chunks first. Place in the bottom of the crock pot. Brown the chunks of salted and peppered beef in small batches to avoid overcrowding. Transfer to the slow-cooker crock. Layer on the onions, carrots, potatoes, broth or stock, in that order, salting and peppering each layer. Top with chopped fresh parsley. Cover and cook on low for 7 hrs or high for 4 hours.

Stir in the barley and leek (if using), and cook on high for 1 hr more until the barley is tender.

Stir in the optional mashed potatoes. Serve with Irish Soda Bread, if desired.

*Oven directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Follow all the directions above, but instead, layer ingredients in a lidded roaster or Dutch oven. Bake for 4 hours. Remove and add the barley and optional leeks. Return to oven for 1 hour. Remove and stir before serving.

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Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Crock Pot Irish Beef Stew

Created by Melissa Woolard | Culinary Craftiness

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. slab mostly lean bacon, cut into 2"-3" chunks, optional
  • 2-3 lbs. cheap roasting meat such as London broil or chuck, cut into 2"-3" chunks
  • 3 onions, peeled & quartered, or 3 leeks washed and cut into chunks
  • 3 lbs. carrots, peeled & cut into 2"-3" chunks
  • 2-3 lbs. potatoes, cut into 2"-3" chunks
  • 8-16 oz. fresh whole mushrooms, optional
  • 2-3 cups beef broth or stock
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking barley
  • Optional: Reheated leftover mashed potatoes (1 cup) to thicken the stew or boil and mash 2 medium potatoes if you want a thick stew without any juices.

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. If using, brown the bacon chunks first. Place in the bottom of the crock pot. Brown the chunks of salted and peppered beef in small batches to avoid overcrowding. Transfer to the slow-cooker crock. Layer on the onions, carrots, potatoes, broth or stock, in that order, salting and peppering each layer. Top with chopped fresh parsley. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours.
  2. Stir in the barley and leek (if using), and cook on high for 1 hr more until the barley is tender.
  3. Stir in the optional mashed potatoes. Serve with Irish Soda Bread, if desired.
  4. Oven directions: Preheat oven to 350°F. Follow all the directions above, but instead, layer ingredients in a lidded roaster or Dutch oven. Bake for 4 hours. Remove and add the barley and optional leeks. Return to oven for 1 hour. Remove and stir before serving.
https://culinarycraftiness.com/crock-pot-irish-beef-stew/

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