My husband and I have a tradition of watching The Lords of the Rings movies every year. This year, we had a few friends over to watch the first movie, so we made an event out of it. I had been searching for a good stew recipe to tie into the movie, but was unsuccessful in finding one that didn’t require cookware that I didn’t have (one recipe required a dutch oven and another called for an 8qt pot…I only have a 6qt…) or ingredients that were unusual… So, I called my dad. My dad is an amazing cook and has a knack for creating delicious recipes from whatever’s in the pantry or fridge. I told my dad my predicament and he suggested the following ingredients for a crockpot stew. It turned out really well and it might be an addition to our annual tradition!
Dad’s Irish Stew
– Cubed beef (I used stew meat which was already chopped, saving a step of prep work!)
– 4 large russet potatoes
– 2 or 3 carrots (I used a handful or so of baby carrots)
– 2 or 3 stalks of celery (I found some snack celery sticks and used about 6 of those)
– 2 yellow onions
– 2 medium cans of tomato sauce (you can add as much or little as you like)
– Beef or chicken broth (I used chicken)
– 1 bulb of garlic
– 10 or so strips of bacon (I used pre-cooked microwave bacon to save a step)
– Mrs. Dash
-Coarse black pepper
-Spot of olive oil
First, assemble the ingredients and begin peeling the garlic, onions, and potatoes.
While you’re slicing the onions and garlic cloves, heat some olive oil in a skillet on the stove. Also, to help cut down on tears while you’re slicing onions, bite two unlit match sticks between your teeth. The striking end will help absorb the sting from the onions and help minimize your eyes from watering.
Add onions and garlic to hot skillet and sauté until slightly toasted brown. Set aside when done.
Dice peeled potatoes, carrots, and celery and blend together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Pat-dry beef cubes and brown in a skillet. Add Mrs. Dash and black pepper to meat. Make sure the meat is thoroughly browned with little to no pink showing.
In a large crockpot, layer the beef, onions and garlic, and the vegetables. Pour the tomato sauce everything. Add enough chicken broth to come up to an inch and half from the top of the pot.
Top with bacon (torn in bits), a bit more Mrs. Dash, and black pepper, stir in.
Cover and set crockpot to high for 4 and a half hours. Stir about every hour to make sure everything cooks thoroughly. You can let it cook longer on low if need be. It started to smell so good we ate it as soon as the time was up! I served it with Texas toast and “Lembas” bread for dessert.
*My Lembas bread was Walker’s shortbread cookies wrapped in large fake greenery leaves.