I grew up in a home where we cooked and ate a lot of Italian food. Any meal without homemade sauce and a side of pasta was highly unusual. So when “Mostly Wonderful” brought me home to meet my future in-laws, getting used to their traditional meals was a bit of a culture shock – the Irish kind. My mother-in-law happens to be an amazing cook and one of the meals she loves to make in winter is old-fashioned Irish Stew. On the stove top, it’s an all day, one pot, sit and simmer type meal. For years I made her recipe exactly that way, but after losing my eyesight and having my girls; I adapted it for the crock pot. Crock pot cooking gives me the same great taste, with a lot less clean up. It also gives me the freedom to go about my day without periodically checking my stove. If you’re looking for something warm and hearty this winter, my old-fashioned Irish stew will leave your family feeling full and happy.
1 Pound of Stew Meat
¼ Cup of Flour
2 Small to Medium Onions, Diced
1 Pound of Carrots (One Whole Bag)
9 – 12 Idaho or Russet Potatoes, Quartered
1 32 oz Box of Beef Stock
8-12 Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
Salt & Pepper to Taste
If you order your groceries online, do a key word search for “stew meat.” A family of 4 should be about a pound to a pound and a half of meat. If you live near a butcher, you can request “stew meat” by the pound and they should also be able to accommodate you.
Dice your onions and add them to the crock pot. Peel your carrots (one full bag) and rough chop them. If you’re pressed for time, you can also use one full bag of baby carrots. Just wash them thoroughly before adding to your onions. Peel your potatoes and cut into quarters. You want your potatoes to be in large chunks. If they are too small, they will disintegrate into your stew and become mush. Pour your beef stock into the crock pot.
Next, rinse your stew meat in cold water. Place the meat in a bowl and toss with ¼ cup of all-purpose flour. Lightly toss. Dump the floured cover meat and remaining flour on top of the veggies and liquid in your crock pot. Season with salt and pepper and add 8-12 dashes of Worcestershire sauce all over. Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
Taste for seasoning and thickness before serving. If your stew appears too watery, add in a handful of flour and mix with a large spoon. The flour will act as a thickening agent within the stew. Serve in a bowl with warm bread for dunking.