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Fresh Leeks Blog: A Journey of Culinary Delights

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Hearty Bowl of Guinness Irish Stew


A bowl of Guinness Irish Stew and glass of Guinness

As St. Patrick’s Day 🇮🇪🍀 approaches, we're celebrating all things Irish at Fresh Leeks! From the iconic Guinness beer 🍻 and corned beef and cabbage to the comforting warmth of Irish stew, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to immerse ourselves in Irish culture and culinary traditions. In this blog post, we'll delve into the rich history of Irish stew, Guinness beer, and St. Patrick’s Day itself, while also sharing a flavorful recipe for Guinness Irish Stew that will delight your taste buds and warm your soul.


The Origins of Irish Stew

Irish stew embodies the warmth and hospitality for which Irish people are renowned. Dating back centuries, Irish stew originated in Ireland as a humble peasant dish, crafted by shepherds and farmers from simple ingredients readily available in their rural communities.

 

Traditionally cooked over an open fire in a cauldron and made with lamb and mutton, potatoes, onions, and root vegetables, Irish stew exemplifies the art of slow cooking, allowing the stew's flavors to meld together into a comforting and nourishing meal. Each family would have their own variation of the recipe, passed down through the generations and cherished as a symbol of their home and regional heritage. As Irish immigrants spread across the globe, they brought their cherished recipes with them, ensuring that Irish stew would become a beloved culinary tradition in countries far and wide.

To truly appreciate our Guinness Irish Stew recipe 🍻🇮🇪🥣 though, it's essential to also understand the legacy of Guinness, Ireland's best-known beer and famous export.

Glass of Guinness beer
Glass of Guinness beer

Guinness Beer 🍻 Established by Arthur Guinness after signing a 9,000-year lease for the four-acre property at St. Jame's Gate Brewery in Dublin, Ireland, in 1759, Guinness initially brewed ales, and then a porter, which eventually evolved into the iconic stout we know today, characterized by its dark color, creamy head, and rich flavor.

 

Over the centuries, Guinness has played a significant role in Irish society, serving as a symbol of resilience and national pride, and a pioneer of early employee welfare programs. The brewery paid in general 10% higher than the average industrial wage in Dublin at the time, and in 1870, a medical center was established to provide free healthcare not just to employees but also their families. Guinness also began to introduce employee benefits such as paid annual holidays, free meals, annual excursions AND a beer 🍻💲 allowance, and in the 1880s, introduced a pension scheme for all employees.

 

Today, Guinness beer is enjoyed by millions worldwide in more than 100 countries, but its heart remains in Ireland, where visitors can experience the magic of the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, a pilgrimage site for beer enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Bonus: the 1.) United Kingdom and 2.) Nigeria consume more Guinness beer 🍻 each year than 3.) Ireland. 😲


Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade Balloon
Kansas City St. Patrick's Day Parade Balloon

History of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th, commemorates the life and legacy of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. Although St. Patrick was not actually Irish (he was a Roman citizen of Britain), he is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland in the 5th century and is revered for his missionary work and teachings.

 

The holiday celebration originally began as a religious feast day, but over time, it evolved into a celebration of Irish culture and identity. In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is a national holiday, marked by gatherings with family and friends, religious observances, and the wearing of green, which symbolizes the lush landscapes of the "Emerald Isle" as Ireland is known. Across the globe, everyone is Irish 🇮🇪🍀💋🇮🇪🍻 on March 17th, making St. Patrick’s Day one of the most widely celebrated holidays in the world! St. Patrick’s Day festivities typically include parades, traditional celtic music and Irish folk dance, and of course, plenty of Irish food and drinks including green beer.

 

Now that we've explored the history behind Irish stew, Guinness beer, and St. Patrick’s Day, let's bring these elements together in a delicious and hearty recipe for Guinness Irish Stew.


Guinness Irish Stew ingredients
Guinness Irish Stew ingredients

Ingredients: 2 tbsp olive oil

2.5 lb / 1.25 kg beef chuck, boneless short rib or any other slow cooking beef (no bone)

3/4 tsp each salt and black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 onions, chopped (brown, white or yellow)

6 oz / 180 g bacon, speck or pancetta, diced

3 tbsp flour (all purpose/plain)

440 ml / 14.9 oz Guinness beer

4 tbsp tomato paste

3 cups (750 ml) chick stock / borth (or beef broth)

3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1.25 cm / 1/2" thick pieces

2 large celery stalks, cut into 2 cm / 1" pieces

2 bay leaves

3 sprigs thyme (can sub with 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)

Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

 

Browning beef
Step 2 - Brown the beef


1. Cut the beef into 5 cm / 2' chunks. Pat dry then sprinkle with salt and pepper.


2. Heat oil in a heavy based pot over high heat. Add beef in batches and brown well all over. Remove onto plate. Repeat with remaining beef.


3. Lower heat to medium. If the pot is looking dry, add oil.


4. Cook garlic and onion for 3 minutes until softening, then add bacon.




Cook bacon until browned
Cook bacon until browned

5. Cook until bacon is browned, then stir in carrots and celery.


6. Add flour, and stir for 1 minute to cook off the flour.




Step 7 - Adding Guinness beer
Step 7 - Add Guinness

7. Add Guinness, chicken broth/stock and tomato paste. Mix well (to ensure flour dissolves well), add bay leaves and thyme.


8. Return beef into the pot (including any juices on plate). Liquid level should just cover beef.


9. Cover, lower heat so it is bubbling gently. Cook for 2 hours - the beef should be pretty tender by then. Remove lid, then simmer for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the beef falls apart at the touch and the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly.

Finished Guiness Irish Stew in a pot


10. Skim off any fat on the surface, if desired, and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaves and thyme.





11. Serve over creamy mashed potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley! Can be enjoyed with crusty bread too.

Guinness Irish Stew served over mashed potatoes
Guinness Irish Stew served over mashed potatoes

Conclusion

This St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Ireland 🇮🇪🍀 with a steaming bowl of Guinness Irish Stew. As you savor each spoonful 🥄, take a moment to reflect on the centuries-old traditions of Irish stew 🥣, Guinness beer 🍻, and St. Patrick’s Day 🍀, appreciating their profound influence on Irish culture and cuisine. Sláinte!


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About Fresh Leeks 

From busy professionals and families on the go to professional and student athletes tracking macros, vegetarians, and individuals with specific dietary requirements, Fresh Leeks serves the Kansas City area metro with catering services and weekly meal prep services that can be modified to you and your family's dietary needs and food preferences. Contact us to learn more about our meal services offerings, and start your journey to a healthier you today!

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