St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and in celebration I’ll be making one of the classics in the Irish repertoire. The Emerald Isle is well know for its quality beef as well as its love of slow-cooking: this recipe incorporates both. It is rich and thick and deliciously meaty, so I have chosen not to add in the carrots, peas, and potatoes that often adorn the dish, but by all means do if you love it this way – just add them in about at about the 2 hour simmer mark as you don’t want them to be too overcooked. But for me the meat, onions, and wine form the perfect marriage and need nothing more than some old fashioned Quick & Easy Irish Soda Bread to make it complete. Bottoms up and sláinte mhath!
Makes 8-10 servings
- 5# beef, cubed ½ – 1” (top round works well for this)
- 2 large onions, minced
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 5 tsp. brown sugar
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups merlot wine
- 2 1/2 cups demi-glace – beef or veal stock reduce by 1/2
- 4 bay leaves
- 5 tsp mixed herbs – thyme, basil, rosemary
In a large Dutch oven or deep sauté pan, sauté the onions in 1/3 cup of the oil. Season with salt & pepper. Once the onions are soft, remove them from the pan and set aside.
Toss the beef in the flour and shake off the excess. Sear the beef in batches – do not crowd the pan. Once the cubes have been browned on all sides, remove to a plate to hold. Continue until all the beef is browned.
Add the beef back into the pan along with the onions and all remaining ingredients. Simmer covered until fork tender – about 3 hours. Uncover and turn the heat up to reduce and thicken the sauce.