Dark Ale Irish Stew for lazy butts
This is a meat and dairy free version and therefore vegan. It is inspired by popular guinness stews but I replaced the guinness with a local dark stout. Guinness is pretty pricy here and since I like to cook on a budget I used a bottle of “Murauer dunkel” a lovely styrian beer. Im not a super strict vegan so I’m not fully aware which beer brand is vegan and which is not. Heard that guinness is not but to be honest I mostly skipped it for price reasons and cause I like to go local if there is the opportunity.
- 1 big onion
- 400g potatoes
- 2 big carrots
- 4 sticks of celery
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of (whole wheat or all purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon of (dijon) mustard
- 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
- 2 bayleaves
- 1 teaspoon of dried tyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- veggie stock/ stock cube
- 1 bottle (0,5l) of a dark stout
Finely dice the onion and chop the celery in bite sized pieces. Heat up a big pot with some olive oil to medium heat and sweat of onions and celery for about 10 minutes. In this time chop the carrots and potatoes into nice chunks. I peeled the carrots but didn’t bother for the potatoes since they were fresh spring ones and so tiny. Literally I would have lost have of the amount, so I told myself the vitamins are under the peel and I’m not just lazy but super responsible and taking care about making the dish more healthy :) But depending on your potatoes peel or leave them as you feel like.
Add a tablespoon of flour to the onion-celery mix and toss everything around in the pot before adding the rest of the veggies and sweat them for a minute or so. Then deglaze everything with the stout and some veggie stock (hot water and ½ of a stock cube will do the same) add the spices and decrease the heat to a gentle simmer. Now you are almost free to forget about it for 45 minutes - occasional stirs are fine but you don’t spend too much attention but start an episode of your favourite show on Netflix instead.
If you get fancy and want to impress your friends you can also start to make a quick soda bread in this time, but also any other store bought bread will taste nicely. At the end add some finely chopped fresh parsely to enhance the flavour and fine tune the seasoning - you can also add a little paprika or even the smoke paprika powder, to get a smoky almost bacon like flavour.
I found that a pinch of sugar also enhances the flavour a lot. So I went for some brown sugar but use the sweetener of your choice. If you dont want to use refined sugar I think malt sirup would fit really nicely to the beer theme of this stew. Another version I want to try another time is adding “a dash of black” to this stew. I learned about this way of drinking guinness in Galway and I fell in love with it cause the nice fruity tone of the black currant sirup balances well with the bitter taste of the guinness and gives it an extra kick. So if you have some black currant sirup at home and feel like its time for some food experiments, go and give it a try - also let me know how you liked it :)
This stew freezes well so you can go for a big batch and just make ready meals for those days when you need some comfort food but don’t feel like cooking. It works also nicely as a hangover dish so you can have a big bowl before and after you start your St. Patricks day pub tour.
It’s a basic low budget but hearty dish and you can of course add all your leftover veggies from the fridge and adjust it to your taste with different spices, in the end this is what stews were created for :)
So I’ll go and grab some cider now - I’m more a cider than a beer girl and have my bowl full of purple stew love. It turned out purple cause I used purple potatoes from the farmers market and red onions, so yours might have a slightly different color but I bet it tastes lovely all the same.
Slainte and happy St. Patricks Weekend