Beef Irish Stew

Preparation info

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By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Not surprisingly, Irish stew is all about potatoes. The secret is to use two kinds: Yukon Golds, which dissolve and give a silky body to the stew, and waxy potatoes, which keep their shape and give a contrasting texture to the stew. Most recipes say to slice the potatoes, but you can also shape them into miniature eggs. As for a daube, the meat for Irish stew isn’t browned. Usually Irish stew is made with lamb, but it’s delicious with beef.


beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes 4 lb 2 kg
onions, minced 2 medium 2 medium
beef stock, chicken stock, or water, to cover 3 cups 750 ml
large bouquet garni 1 1
yukon gold potato, peeled, sliced as thin as possible, and kept in water to prevent darkening 1 large 1 large
white or red waxy potatoes, peeled 3 large 3 large
pearl onions or walnut-size boiling onions, peeled (optional) 2 cups 500 ml
heavy cream (optional) ½ cup 125 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. If you’ll be cooking the stew in the oven, preheat the oven to 300°F (149°C).
  2. Place the meat, minced onions, and enough stock to cover in a tall pot and nestle in the bouquet garni. Bring to a simmer on the stove and skim off any froth that floats to the surface. Add the Yukon Gold potato, cover, and maintain at a gentle simmer on the stove or in the oven.
  3. After an hour, stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sliced potato.
  4. Slice the waxy potatoes into ¼-inch-thick (5 mm) rounds or shape the potatoes into elongated football shapes, 4 to 8 out of each one. When the stew has been simmering for 2 hours, add the waxy potatoes and the pearl onions, if using.
  5. Simmer until the meat and potatoes are both easily penetrated with a skewer. Stir in the cream, if using, and bring back to a simmer. Simmer a minute or two if needed to thicken the sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Serve in heated soup plates.