Completing the Irish Beef Stew

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,158
    Chef John Conway demonstrates how to make a traditional Irish beef stew, including how to complete the stew.

    Hi, my name is John Conway and we are here today, we are cooking in a traditional Irish beef stew. I am the chef at the Old Brogue restaurant of Great Falls of Northern Virginia. So, we are going to get started now. We are going to start braising the beef tenderloin tips. So, I have a hot skillet pan here, we are just going to use a touch of olive oil, not too much because you will find that we get a lot of juices out of the beef as we are braising it, so, just to line the bottom of the pan. So, we are getting smoky here now, so I will turn that on low and then we are going to start braising the beef. Basically, what we are doing here is we are just sealing in all the juices, all the flavors. We want to sear it on both sides and then we are going to be transferring it to our pot here in which we will be finishing the stew in. Well, that could stand there for a second, we are going to season it with some salt and pepper and I find that you can use as much salt on beef because it tenderizes it and it gives it a lot more flavor. Some black pepper and we are going to use some roasted garlic. We just turn the heat back up there a little bit. We also have a beef stock here. I actually made it before we started. I braised some beef bones with a multiple of our vegetables again, onions, carrots, leeks and celery with some tomato paste I roasted in the oven and then once that was roasted I took it out and I added to my stock pot and we added some water to that and we have to cook for like six hours. So, we have that ready here for the stew. I will just give this a turn. See, we are getting a lot of juice out of the meat now. We will just go a little higher. The beef tenderloin tips are a little bit more expensive than your regular stewing beef top round or whatever but, the reason why I use beef tenderloin tips is well, it is a better cut of meat, it has more flavor and it also cooks a little faster and it is a lot more tender and the cooking process for using beef tenderloin is again, it is a lot faster and with the stewing beef, it takes a lot longer. So, at the restaurant, this is one of our main dishes and we go through maybe, 40 pounds in a week of traditional Irish stew. So, that is just more about that. I am going to start transferring it to our pot here. So, basically, most of this juice here is mostly, fat coming out of the meat and we do not want that in the stew. Later on when the stew is cooking or whatever, we will see some fat residue come to the top which we will be removing; I will show you how to do that. That is basically it. so, we got this in here and then we are going to put it on this, we are going to add the flour and get started. So, we have our meat in here now, what we are going to do is we are going to add the flour. I have approximately, a cup of flour that we are using, so, I am just going to add this in here and that gets a little bit hard. We are going to add that in there and as I said before you really want to cook out the flour. If you do not cook out the flour, you are going to have the taste of a - it is going to be floury in here. So, you really got to cook out the flour. See there, the flour is disappearing now, as we are cooking it, it is getting thicker. We are just going to reduce the heat so, now we are going to add some of our beef stock first. I have like two quarts here and we are going to add this in. We are going to give that a mix, we will mix this up. Now, we are going to add our vegetables. So, again, we have like one onion, diced, we are going to add that to the stew. We have three carrots diced and the three sticks of celery and then we are going to add our leeks. We will need more stock in here. I do have some more. Generally, what happens is it looks so thick in there now. Now, what happens is as the stew is cooking, then the vegetables cook down and that is what gives it a lot more flavor. It is also very important that you use a cold stock not a hot stock. When you are cooking vegetables we want to get the flavor of the vegetables in the stew. You do not want to put in hot stock in cold vegetables. They lose all their nutrition, all their flavors, so, it is better to cook with a cold stock. So, now I am just going to add some more stock, perfect. Now, we are going to add our bouquet garni and our fresh thyme. So, we are going to let this cook for maybe 40 minutes and before we add the potatoes because we do not want to add the potatoes right now because during the cooking process, the potatoes will overcook and they are going to mash and you do not want that. You want to have some potatoes in your stew. So, we are going to come back in like 30 minutes and see how it is doing. We are back now and the stew has come to a boil so, as you can see we have all of the fat here and so, it is important that we remove this. Take that away. So, I find it easier if you take the ladle and split around the centre. It sends everything now to the sides and then we just come in and go around. This is actually, just how my mother used to make at least twice a week. Back home it is very popular, especially, in the winter months. Part of our stew, so, we are going to let that continue cooking. So, we are back now and the stew is looking really good and the meat is just beginning to become tender. So, we are going to add the potatoes. So, it has been approximately 30 minutes since the stew came to a boil, so, now we are going to add our potatoes. So, we are just going to drop them in there like that, smells good and we just give it a turn around. See, it is nice and thick it is full, great, looks really good. So, now we are going to leave that maybe for another 10-15 minutes so the potatoes are done and then I am going to show you how we serve traditional Irish stew. We are back and the stew is ready. So, before we serve, we are just going to remove the bouquet garni and the thyme. So, transfer them in there. Now, we are going to do is we are going to serve the stew in our casserole dish here and when you are serving the stew you want to make sure you got a good mix of your vegetables, meat and potatoes. You do not want it all to be just vegetables and no meat so, it is important that you fish around in there and make sure it is all even. In the Brogue, we just slice, we normally serve like three slices with each dish. So, it is just a nice slice. You do not want a doorstep. So, then we take the bread and we just cut it in half and then this is the way we serve it. Here we have our traditional Irish stew. This is the way we serve it. I would like to thank you all for watching and I hope you all enjoy, thank you.