An Irish beef stew is a hearty version of a regular beef stew. Enriched with Worcestershire sauce and a bit of cornflour, this stew screams out 'comfort food'. In fact I think it's an elevation of the Kenyan version of beef stew that often has potatoes, carrots and coriander.
In my house though, our stews tend to be rather light and leveraging more on herbs and tomatoes and so I was not too sure how receptive my people would be. Surprisingly, or not surprisingly, it was a hit. I served it up on a rainy night and during dinner, there was pin drop silence at the table.....well, except for the sound of people eating.
This stew can actually be had on its own because it already has everything in it...but I like to have mine with chapati to mop up all the tasty sauce.
500 grams beef cubes
2 large carrots, cut into large batons
1 large zucchini, cubed
500 grams, clean new potatoes ( you can use diced white potatoes if you don't have new potatoes)
1 large onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup flour
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 litre beef stock or 1/2 beef cube dissolved in 500ml water
2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs dark soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
NB: I made my stew in the oven but you can just as well use a stove top. Instead of transferring your ingredients into a casserole dish, you cook them in the same pot on a medium heat.
The first step is to toss your meat in the flour making sure all the cubes are coated. Then, add some oil to your pan on medium heat. Once the oil starts to slightly smoke add your meat and let it brown in the pan. When all the meat has browned, set it aside.
In the same pan, add your onions and garlic. If the pan seems dry you can add some oil. Keep stirring the onions and garlic until they soften then add your potatoes and carrots, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and season with some salt and pepper. Mix them up then add your meat, bay leaves and beef stock.
NB: If you're using a stock cube, go easy on the salt
At this point, I transferred everything into an ovenproof dish with a lid and put it in the oven for an hour. Halfway through cooking, add the zucchini. If you are using a stovetop, cover the pot with a lid and turn the heat down to medium low and let it simmer for 15 minutes then add the zucchini and let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce has thickened.
Take off the heat and serve with your favourite side, or on its own.