CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Irish Stew

Corned beef and cabbage undoubtedly will be on the menu at many Irish-American homes on St. Patrick’s Day, as well as on the menu of many restaurants throughout the U.S.

But if you were to go to Ireland, hardly any of the people there will be eating it. That’s because corned beef and cabbage is more of an American tradition. That’s because pork, a favorite of the Irish, was a little too spendy for immigrants in the 1800s and early 1900s. And beef and salt were plentiful as well as cheap.

Here is another recipe, from the American Institute for Cancer Research, that might appeal to the Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s loaded with Irish staples such as root vegetables and lean meat. This stew boasts hearty vegetables like carrots and parsnips, which contain carotenoids, potent antioxidants that help maintain healthy cells. A moderate amount of beef gives the one-pot meal a full flavor and powerful protein.

You can provide a real cancer-protective punch by pairing it with something green like a fresh salad or some steamed veggies. And earn some bonus points if you eat green while wearing green!

American Irish Stew
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1¼ pounds beef, top round, cut into ¾-inch pieces (stew beef with the fat trimmed may be substituted)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional)
3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth, or as needed
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 leek, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 75 minutes or until meat is tender.
Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender. Do not overcook to avoid potatoes falling apart.
Serve hot and garnish with parsley.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 370 calories, 8 grams total fat (2 grams saturated fat), 43 grams carbohydrate, 32 grams protein, 6 grams dietary fiber, 427 milligrams sodium.

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