Apron Free Cooking ~ Irish Stew
By Noel Lizotte
We’re staying with the Irish food theme at my house for a little bit longer. Most people seem to get their fill of Irish-ness all in one day, St. Patrick’s Day. But we stretch it out. That’s probably due to the fact that my children enjoy celebrating that part of their heritage.
For our St. Patrick’s Day supper we had Irish Stew with our Soda Bread. The stew is definitely filling and easy to make. In fact, the leftovers are making pretty good lunch box filler!
The recipe below calls for baby carrots, but since my local grocer had “regular” carrots on sale, I picked up a pound of those and used them instead. I just cut them into two inch chunks and they cooked up nice and tender.
I love the convenience of baby carrots, but since I’m watching my budget, it made sense to buy the big bag. I saved some money and burned a couple of calories chopping. Not all that many calories, because I just cut the carrots into chunks, I probably should have diced them into tiny bits if I wanted to turn this meal into an exercise program. Exercise was not the goal though, so I just reminded myself of the cost savings and tossed the carrot chunks into the pot.
The fact is they tasted good. That’s probably more important than costs. I’ve learned that buying something because it’s on sale isn’t a savings if the family won’t eat it. If you think about it, money spent on food that nobody eats is more wasteful than spending money on food that people enjoy.
Irish Beef Stew
1 pound beef, cut for stew
1 large Onion chopped
1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
2 large Potatoes cut into chunks
1 envelope Brown Gravy Mix
1 bag Baby Carrots
Place all ingredients in crock pot. Simmer on low for 6–8 hours until carrots, beef and potatoes are tender.
Approximate Nutritional Values: Servings 12. Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337, Total Fat: 12g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 2032mg, Total Carbs: 41g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 17g.
Make it a meal: Irish soda bread and butter make a good addition to this meal. If you want to add some more veggies, add your favorite, but with the ones in the stew should be sufficient.
For the brown gravy, you may use the packet powder mix or canned variety. If you want to raise the Irish quotient, instead of using water to mix up the gravy, replace it with Guinness. If you let that simmer awhile in the pot, the alcoholic content will lose the kick and you’ll be left with the flavor.
I’ve intentionally doubled the recipe this year, and have several plastic lunch containers sitting in the refrigerator. We’re getting an extra round of Irish good eats by spreading the stew from St. Pat’s supper on into this week. I’m stretching the budget just a little bit each day.