I have always wanted to take cooking classes. I don’t know that I could do the whole culinary school experience but a class here and there is just the ticket for me. I finally saw a class that I wanted to try through Central Market so off I went with visions of Julia Child ala Julie and Julia in my head.
For this class we made Irish Beef Stew and a Pork Tenderloin (upcoming blog post). There were 12 people in the class and we were divided up into 3 groups of four students. We each got to pick what we wanted to do and I was a baby and went with peeling the vegetables for this dish. This dish wasn’t much of a stretch for me as I’ve made a lot of different types of beef stew already. But I did enjoy the experience and thought overall it was worth it.
Irish Beef Stew (recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious/Bon Appétit)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds stew beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 large garlic cloves, minced
8 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef stock, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot over medium heat. Add potatoes, onion and carrots. Sauté vegetables until golden, about 20 minutes. Add vegetables to beef stew. Simmer uncovered until vegetables and beef are very tender, about 40 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Tilt pan and spoon off fat. (Can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer stew to serving bowl. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Taste the stew and add salt and pepper as needed to adjust for taste.