For some people St. Patrick’s Day is one big Irish holiday celebration. But in our family St. Patrick’s Day is all about looking for lucky shamrocks and trapping a leprechaun, a mischievous fairy-elf type creature from Irish folklore. My kids have heard many stories about pots of gold at the ends of rainbows and if they can trap a leprechaun, there is a good chance they might find enough gold to pay their way through college. Gold is currently valued at over $1100 an ounce!
Just last night both my daughters were choosing classes for next fall. Abbi will be going to high school and Mimi will move on from her elementary school to junior high. Both girls know how tricky leprechauns can be and this year they helped Eli build a trap to finally catch one. It seems like yesterday Rob and I were both helping the girls build their traps in first grade. So far we are 0-2 in catching one but we are hopeful with Eli’s trap. With the help of his sisters, they built a thoughtful and clever trap that may redeem previous attempts and restore our good family name. Even if they don’t catch one, it’s a bittersweet reality for my husband and I. This is our last leprechaun trap project, the first of many lasts to come.
My kids are my pot of gold, a priceless treasure like no other. Unlike the leprechaun, there is no trickery involved to find this treasure I carry each day in my heart. To think how quickly my kids are growing makes me appreciate the moments I have with them.
Today I have an Irish Beef Slow-Cooker recipe for you. What makes this beef stew Irish is debatable. Traditional Irish stew is made with lamb or mutton with potatoes and onions. It was a poor man’s peasant dish. But like many recipes passed down through the generations being adapted ever so slightly from the family original, Irish stew is more commonly made with beef and other vegetables such as carrots and celery. A more modern take on Irish stew now includes the adding of stout beer which is an acquired taste I personally enjoy – my kids, not so much.
I like this recipe because you can add all your ingredients to a slow cooker at the beginning of the day and let the cooker do all the work. This way when it’s time for dinner, it’s already made and you can discuss the more important issues of the day with your children, like whether or not they found any four-leaf clovers and if they were successful finding the leprechaun or his pot of gold. Enjoy the stew and their stories.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Recipe: Irish Beef Stew
An easy Irish beef stew recipe made with chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and celery. Made in a slow cooker, this hearty dish is satisfying and a family favorite.
2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for coating
1 pound gold potatoes cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, sliced into 1/3-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups beef broth
½ teaspoon thyme
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Coat the beef in flour and add to a medium slow cooker.
Mix in the potatoes, mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, broth and thyme to the cooker.
Cook the stew on low heat for 8 hours until the beef and vegetables are tender.