9.12.2008

Irish Stew: Take Two

So I am trying to find and develop the perfect Irish Stew recipe.

This stemmed from me making an Irish Stew from Ruth's Kitchen Experiments for the August Taste & Create challenge. I really loved Ruth's recipe and so did my husband but, it took a long time to make and there is more than one Irish stew recipe out there that could be tried.

Miss. Molly, commented on my Irish Stew post and asked me if I wanted to help her perfect the perfect Irish stew recipe. Researching Irish Stews, I realized that there are many different versions and opinions on the "authentic Irish Stew" or the "best" recipe. In the end, it could possibly boil down to a subjective preference. But still, I am determined to find the perfect Irish stew for Miss. Molly. And, hopefully a good one that most would agree is perfectly good.

Miss. Molly described an Irish Stew that she had in Ireland. The stew had a dark, dark brown gravy with veggies and beef that is marinated in Guinness and then served with mashed potatoes drowning in the stew. She says it's one of the best she has tried and wants to know how to make something close to this at home.

So, I tried another Irish stew recipe the other night-a combo of lots of recipes I had reviewed, trying to make it like Miss. Molly had described. This is going to be harder than I thought. It turned out OK but, not what I am looking for really.

I think I mastered the mashed potato part though. I boiled them in Killian's Red Beer and mashed with heavy cream, butter, olive oil, and some fresh-ground salt and pepper.

I also think that the ingredients of lamb sirloin steak chunks, Worcestershire sauce, and fresh thyme are a must for our master recipe.

Here are some stew mysteries I am trying to solve though-maybe you can help me?

#1
How do you get the Stew/gravy so dark, dark brown?

#2
How do you use Guinness in the whole mix of things with out getting a bitter tasting stew?

#3
Does a stew have to stew all day and all night just to get the great results? or are there some shortcuts we can take?

Thanks guys!

Okay, CUT! On to take three

4 comments:

Megan said...

I dont have any pointers but you have me in the mood for some good thick stew. I'm so glad the cooler weather is finely getting here just for dishes like this.

Veronica said...

Dark brown gravy: when I make navarin d'agneau (a French lamb stew with spring vegetables) I turn the meat in flour and brown it in oil. Then (special secret) I sprinkle sugar over it and put the casserole in a very hot oven for 5-10 minutes, turning the meat once. This caramelizes the sugar and gives the sauce a lovely deep brown colour (because the sugar is caramelised, it doesn't taste sweet). Worth a try?

Ivy said...

Brilliant Veronica!
I will try this for sure!

Y said...

My boyfriend (being Irish) loves Irish stew. His mom's version is actually light coloured - a bit like your photo.
Occasionally I make him a beef and guinness stew. I usually cook mine for several hours until the meat is very tender. The guinness somehow mellows out over the period of cooking.