Ireland is a country that I have always wanted to travel to. It's been high up there for as long as I could remember. In the past two years, two of my best friends have travelled there, one who celebrates her birthday on St Patrick's Day. One of the families I work for has just returned from their second trip there in six months. Another one of my families just had their summer vacation there. And one of my other best friends, is leaving there tomorrow. So, I guess you could say I found it pretty apt for my next EAT THE WORLD to be the epic and wonderful Ireland!
What to eat in Ireland: Irish Stew
Ireland's national dish is not corned beef and cabbage - sorry my American St Patrick's Day revelers. It's a hearty Irish stew, made of beef, onions, carrots, potatoes and a healthy dose of Guinness. This is one of the easiest meals I've ever made, and one of my dad's favorite.
Irish Stew Recipe
- 10 small red potatoes (quartered)
- 1 can sliced carrots (14.5 oz)
- 1 celery stalk (chopped)
- 1.5 lb stew meat (cubed)
- 1.2 cup flour
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup onion (diced)
- 2 cans tomato sauce (8 oz each)
- 10 oz beef broth (1/3 can)
- 1 envelope Onion soup mix (13g)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 bottle of Guinness Stout
- Put the crock pot onto low heat, and layer the potatoes, carrots, and celery in the bottom.
- Pour in the Guinness, beef broth, garlic powder, salt and pepper, soup mix and basil. Stir to combine.
- Season the cubed beef with salt and pepper and coat in flour.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan. Cook the beef until almost brown, and then add the onion. Continue browning and turning the meat until the onions are soft and translucent and the meat is fully browned, around 5 minutes.
- Add the onions and meat to the slow cooker.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, and cook on low heat for 8 hours, or high heat for 4 hours.
- Serve with bread and more Guinness.
Note: This recipe is also large and you can add more meat. I found this to be enough for four servings, and the size of my crockpot. To adjust, add more meat (3 lb) and one more stalk of celery.
Irish Movie Pairing: Angela's Ashes & Leap Year... and brooklyn
So Angela's Ashes is a seriously sad and depressing movie, which is why I immediately watched Leap Year after it. Unfortunately, Leap Year is also a somewhat sad and depressing movie, but for entirely other reasons! Angela's Ashes is based on the memoir of Irish author Frank McCourt, and the film depicts various memories and events of his life, both growing up in Brooklyn, New York and in Limerick, Ireland. It weaves the personal story of Frank's childhood and dealing with his father who is an alcoholic, and living in poverty. In the past several weeks, I have learnt more and more about Irish history, and the various difficulties this country has had to face in the past few centuries. A few weeks back, I also watched Brooklyn, which shows some of the similar issues that have pervaded Ireland. Regardless, unless you're in the mood for a serious, thought-provoking, albeit depressing movie, Angela's Ashes is your one. Leap Year... is not.... ever. Leap Year is probably Amy Adams worst movie ever made, and her character annoys me. She travels to Dublin, Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Year, because in Irish tradition, the boyfriend must accept. It is such an annoying movie, I'm sorry. The stereotyping of American and Irish characters irritated me, and it was just silly. Go and watch Brooklyn instead! Especially if you're an expat! Go watch Brooklyn!
The Traveling Ginger Verdict
Now, this was a pretty delicious stew! It was quite strong in flavor, probably because I used extra Stout Guinness - I couldn't find just stout without traipsing to a Liquor Store which I didn't feel like doing. The meat was super tender, and the veggies delicious. Although, probably not the best meal to eat in the middle of the South Florida summer, yes, I do wish we were in Ireland instead! My mom and dad came over for the meal, and if you were following on snapchat (travelingginger), you would have seen that my day throughly enjoyed it. His exact words were: "We should do this every week!" This recipe made a lot of stew, so I have a couple Tupperware of it frozen in my fridge already, and I am kind of itching to eat another one. Served up with some crusty delicious bread and butter and this meal is perfect!
Are you one of the many people that have been to Ireland and that I am extremely jealous of? What's your favorite Irish food? Tell me in the comment section below :)