Drunken Irish Vegetable Stew

Every year for St. Patrick's day I make a Corned Beef Brisket with Cabbage and Root Vegetables or a drunken Irish Stew. Typically I use lamb or beef in my Irish stew... though this year to please my plant eating husband, I cut out the red meat.

Keeping with the Irish theme, we kept things a tad boozy, then I added in every root veggie I had on hand some pickling spice to mimic the flavor of my favorite corned beef and some heart healthy barley. Basically a beef or lamb stew sans  beef or lamb.  To be completely honest I totally dug it anyways and did not miss the red meat one bit. This stew was just as rich and comforting... the perfect stick to your ribs kind of meal.

Drunken Irish Vegetable Stew


4 tbs butter
4 medium carrots
2 medium parsnips 
1 Turnip
2 large potatoes   
1 large yellow onion
4 tbs all purpose flour
2 cups Irish ale
4-6 cups vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup of uncooked barley
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs pickling spice
1 piece of cheese cloth cut about 4in x4in or larger. 
Salt and Pepper to taste


Peel and slice all of your vegetables. 

In a large heavy bottom pot like a 6-8 qt dutch oven. Melt butter and in onion and saute over medium heat until translucent. Add in carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Saute until all the vegetables start to brown.

Slowly sift flour over the tops of the vegetables and quickly toss coating them all. The mixture should be come very thick and pasty. When this happens whisk in your beer and 4 cups of stock, bring to a boil.

With your piece of cheese cloth, place pickling spices in the center tie cheese cloth off to enclose all of the spices. 

Mix in garlic, barley, vinegar,  and tomato paste. Place pickling spice pouch in the stew.  Reduce heat to low and allow stew to simmer for 1-2 hours,  mixing occasionally. If the stew becomes too thick mix in remaining stock.

Just before serving remove the pouch of pickling spices.

Salt and pepper to taste, garnish with fresh parsley optional.