Having graduated from Notre Dame and having some Irish heritage in my family roots, St Patrick's Day is cause for celebration in my house. Normally I whip up a Shepherd's Pie, but this year I wanted to do something a little bit different. I'm not a big fan of corned beef and cabbage, and I remember a fabulous Irish Stew that I had in Cork when I visited Ireland years ago. This year I did some research and found this fabulous recipe. My husband gobbled up the leftovers before I could holler "Blarney!" so I guess I'll just have to make it again!!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound sirloin, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 325.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot, and brown the meat, stirring to brown the cubes on all sides. Sprinkle with flour, and stir lightly to coat with flour. Stir in onion, carrots, dark beer, bay leaves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cover.
Place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven, and cook until the beef is very tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
Place the potatoes into a large bowl, and add milk, butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Mash the potatoes with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in the crumbled bacon, and parsley until well combined.
To serve, place a scoop of colcannon onto a plate, make a hollow, and fill with braised beef stew.