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Traditional Irish Stew

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Adjust Servings:
400g Diced Beef
2 Onion roughly chopped
3 Carrots sliced
1kg Potatoes Peeled and chopped. I used Maris Pipers
4 Beef Stock Cube
5 or 6 sprigs Thyme Fresh
4 drops Worcestershire Sauce
3 tbsp Vegetable oil
800ml Water Enough to cover the potatoes

Traditional Irish Stew

Try this traditional Irish Beef Stew this Paddy's Day


    A traditional Irish Beef Stew slow cooked in the Dutch Oven over the Campfire

    • 1 hour 10 minutes
    • Serves 6
    • Medium




    If you search online, there are countless recipes and guides for a “Traditional Irish Stew” and some of the comments on these websites can get pretty aggressive. Apparently, there are all sorts of rules for Irish Stew. Well, if you follow my recipe, you’ll no doubt be breaking some those rules, but this is my granny’s recipe that my mum still makes today, so that’s traditional enough for me.

    Prepping the Vegetables for my Irish Stew

    Irish Beef Stew is a great treat for Scouts cooking for themselves. The slow-cooked beef pieces are a luxurious reminder of home-cooked meals which can help stave off homesickness. This recipes calls for patience, which teenagers aren’t known for. I’ve seen Scouts attempt stew only to not give it the time it needs. Nothing worse than a watery stew with rubbery beef! So make sure you tell them to give it the time that the beef deserves.

    I used the bag I carried my veg in to hold the clean,prepped vegetables

    The Dutch Oven is the perfect pot to cook this Irish Stew in, allowing the sauce to thicken and the beef to go tender and stay juicy.


    This stew works just as well with beef mince, but it will still take the hour of slow cooking before the meat is soft and tender. You might want to try this if you’re on a budget but remember with mince, you get what you pay for. If you get a mince with 20% or more fat content, you’ll need to drain off excess oil. This hot oil will be very flammable so don’t let your Scouts pour it into the fire! That is, if you want them to keep their eyebrows!

    We had our fire on a firetray so as to not damage the ground during this long, slow cook

    If you’ve only adults around the campfire, swap some of the water in the stock for a can of Guinness for an unquestionably Irish Steak and Guinness Stew.

    Why not serve up a pot of Irish stew on your next camp or even for St. Patrick’s Day? It may not be the ‘Traditional Irish Stew’ you see on the Internet, but it’s certainly more Irish than corned beef and cabbage!


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    Get the Dutch oven up to heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, fry off the beef to start building up that flavour. Add the chopped onions and fry these off too.


    When the onion is translucent, add the rest of the vegetables and thyme, the stock cubes, water and worchestershire sauce. Put the lid an on the pot and leave to bubble away for around 40 minutes.


    After about 40 minutes take the lid off and check the potatoes. If they're done, take about half out. Mash the rest up with a masher. At this stage you can add a little more water to the stew if you think it needs it or if it looks a little wet still, cook the last 15 minutes with the lid off.


    Cook for another 15 minutes with the lid on or off, depending on how wet it is. Add the removed potatoes back to the pot and stir through. Taste the stew at this stage, depending on the stock you've used, you might need to adjust the seasoning. I like my Irish stew quite peppery!


    Irish stew needs to be served with buttered bread, white or wheaten is up for debate. I also know some people swear by brown or red sauce on their stew, though I don't go for either. Enjoy.

    Happy Paddy's Day

    Mark T

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