Other book-inspired recipes you might enjoy: Duck Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers, Italian Cannelloni, Shrimp Tacos, Chinese Spicy Noodles, Hearty Fall Turkey Chili, Friday Night Chicken
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In the waning cold, dreary and wet days of December, 2019, I read Say Nothing: A Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. This atmospheric nonfiction book (my review) about the Irish conflict with Great Britain typically referred to as “The Troubles” inspired this recipe for warm and comforting Instant Pot Irish Stew.
A Word About the Ingredients
Traditional Irish Stew is made with lamb but I used beef here. I typically buy beef stew meat (already cubed and packaged) because it saves time. However, the best thing to do is to purchase a large beef roast and cube it yourself. That way, you are able to ensure the pieces are the size you desire and also that they are uniform and thus, cook at the same rate. You want them to be around 1-inch pieces.
I like to use golden flesh potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes. They do better in soups and stews because they are low starch and don’t release a bunch of their starch into the liquid and then get mushy.
Other potatoes that will work: red-skinned potatoes, fingerling potatoes, new potatoes and long white potatoes. Traditional baking potatoes (or Idaho, russet potatoes) are high in starch and you can use them in a pinch but they will get softer and release some of their starch into the liquid. (Note: This CAN be a good thing as you can use russets for thickening up certain soups or stew but for this one, it is not needed.)
I use frozen peas and add them straight in frozen. Be sure to add them only in the last few minutes so they do not get overcooked when serving.
Boxed or canned broth and stock has come a long way in the past few years. Still, I prefer a higher quality stock like this one.
I like to cut the vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc) on the larger side so they do not get overcooked and too mushy when cooking the stew. I think you need to strike a balance between cooking them and allowing them to soak up all the good flavors of the broth, without having them get too soft. See below for additional vegetables to add!
How do I make this Irish beef stew lower carb or keto-friendly?
To make this stew low carb or keto friendly, you can use arrowroot starch instead of flour. Arrowroot starch is still a starch and is similar to white flour as far as carb count goes, but it is gluten free and made with a bit less processing so it is a little bit better for you. Also, I believe you can use less of it than white flour so that makes it a better choice if you are watching carb counts. Instead of beer and wine, just use additional beef stock. For vegetables, you would need to omit the potatoes and carrots and use other low carb and/or keto-friendly vegetables such as:
- turnips (have more sugar than potatoes, but less calories)
- celery root
Can I make this recipe if I don’t have an Instant Pot?
You don’t have to make this with an Instant Pot as this recipe also does very well simmered on the stove and/or in the oven.
Directions without Instant Pot: Just brown the dredged in flour mixture meat on the stovetop in a heavy pot or dutch oven on medium high heat, working in batches. Remove beef and add a tablespoon of oil (or fat of choice) and saute vegetables for 5-10 minutes adding garlic to cook for last minute. Add beef broth, wine and water, scraping bits off bottom of pan. Add herbs and beef back to pan and cover. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer on stovetop for 2-3 hours (or cover and simmer in oven set to 350 for 1-2 hours). Add the peas at the end and serve once they are cooked through.
Here’s the recipe! Happy Eating (and reading)!
Instant Pot Irish Beef Stew
- Instant Pot
- 2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed (1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 cup potatoes, chopped (1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup Guinness stout beer, or any other stout, very dark beer
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/3 cup red wine such as cabernet sauvignon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 carrots medium, chopped (1/2-to 1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup peas, frozen
- 3 cloves garlic, about 1 tbsp
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp salt, separated
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 tsp thyme, dried
- 1 bay leaf, dried
- 1/2 onion powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Pour flour into shallow bowl and add salt, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Dredge beef pieces in flour.
- Add olive oil to Instant Pot set to high saute.
- Brown beef a few pieces at a time, ensuring each piece has space around it. Work in batches to ensure beef browns properly. Add additional oil to the pan, as needed.
- Once all the beef is browned, remove to a plate and set aside.
- Reset Instant pot to medium and add onion, carrots and potatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for 1 minutes or until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan by pouring the red wine in and scraping the browned bits off the bottom with the edge of a spatula.
- Allow wine to come to a boil and then add beef broth and water.
- Add oregano, thyme, bay leaf, additional 1 tsp salt and pepper.
- Add the beef back to the pot and stir.
- Close and lock lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, with 15 minute slow release.
- Remove lid once pressure has released and stir in frozen peas. Allow peas to thaw and cook slightly (5 minutes or so) in hot liquid (or can turn Instant Pot to saute for a few minutes if needed.)
- Serve warm with crusty bread or nice green salad.
- Meat – can use beef stew meat or cube a boneless beef roast.
- Potatoes – use yukon gold, red-skinned, fingerling or new potatoes (not Idaho/russets)
- Broth – use higher quality boxed broth, such as Kitchen Basics
- Beer – use Guinness or other dark or stout
- Peas – can add them in frozen; be sure to add them last
- Make lower carb by – using arrowroot starch in place of flour; omitting potatoes and carrots and using veg such as: turnips, celery, cauliflower, rutabaga, celery root, tomatoes
- Make on Stovetop/Oven: Follow all directions browning meat and saute veg using heavy pot or dutch oven on stovetop. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer on stovetop for 2-3 hours (or cover and simmer in oven set to 350 for 1-2 hours). Add the peas at the end and serve stew once they are cooked through.