Cookin’ in Korea: Irish Stew

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Ah, Irish stew, there’s nothing more warming on a cold winter’s night (or summer’s night if you live in Ireland, where on days when the sun shines people stare up wondering what the big, yellow ball in the sky is).

I make this all the time here in Korea. It’s tasty, homely and the ultimate comfort food. I usually make a big batch and freeze some of it to have on days when I don’t feel like cooking.

Irish Stew

2lbs beef stew meatphoto4

1tbs butter

2tbs all-purpose flour

1 pinch of salt and pepper

1-2 large onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 cups carrots, chopped

2-3 potatoes, peeled and chopped

500ml beef stock

Water

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sage

1 tbs parsley

The herbs are guesses. I grew up watching my mother just fling things into a pot and hope for the best. I also add some marjoram to mine if I have it handy.

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1. In a plastic sandwich bag, mix beef, flour, salt and pepper. Close the bag at the top and shake, shake, shake until the beef is coated in the flour mixture.

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2. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the beef and flour mixture, onion, carrots, herbs, potatoes and beef stock to the pot. Add enough water to cover an inch above the mixture. Bring to the boil, stirring and scraping any bits that stick to the bottom of the pot.

***Some recipes say to fry the meat and flour mixture first until browned and then add the other ingredients and others say add everything at the same time. I’ve tried it both ways and find the meat comes out better (and more melt-in-your-mouth-awesome) when it’s not pre-browned.***

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3. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve hot in a bowl with fresh crusty bread to mop up all the stewy goodness.

(If you find the mixture to be too thick, you can add more water to it. If you find it’s too watery, simmer with the lid off for 10-15 minutes until it’s the desired consistency. If you freeze/refrigerate it and find it’s too thick when you go to reheat it, feel free to add a bit more water to it and stir it thoroughly.)

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