This St. Patrick’s Day, you can either:
(A) Squeeze yourself into an “Irish pub” crammed wall-to-wall with drunk people drinking green beer
(B) Drink alone with a bottle of your local liquor store’s finest Irish whiskey
(C) Make this incredibly comforting stew, invite some good friends over, pour pints of Guinness, and eat well until the leprechauns come home.
This St. Patrick’s, I propose you don’t go to a bar unless you’re actually in Ireland. I propose you don’t wear beads or shamrocks. I say you celebrate the occasion with good food, friends and family. I say you don’t drink anything green. Absolutely not this concoction.
Start with some quality stew beef like beef chuck. But not too lean. You’ll want lovely lines of fat well marbled throughout the meat. Add some carrots and potatoes, either Russet or new potatoes. I like to keep my vegetables in big, hearty chunks so they don’t dissolve into mush. I also add them only in the last 75 minutes of the braising. Aromatics like thyme, caraway seeds, bay leaves and garlic round out the flavors. As with most braises, this is wonderful on the first day, but even better on the second.
This St. Paddy’s Day, make this and you won’t need to worry about spilled beer on your shoes. Unless your dinners are a lot more interesting than mine.