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From the AICR Test Kitchen
Week of March 12, 2012
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Contact: Alice Bender, (202) 328-7744

American Irish Stew

from the
American Institute for Cancer Research

March is a seasonal transition month when thoughts turn to spring and a greener landscape. It's also when many celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the wearing of the green and enjoying foods that have their roots in the Emerald Isle. One popular dish is Irish Stew. Stobhach gaelach, as it's called in Gaelic, is traditionally made with lamb or mutton, the less tender meat from sheep over two years of age.

To some purists, true Irish stew only consists of lamb, onions and potatoes and no other root vegetables. Our version, though, uses beef, reflecting the hearty and flavorful dish's evolution and assimilation into American cuisine.

We've also added more color and nutritional value with carrots and parsnips. Parsnips are a member of the carrot family and they provide a slightly nutty and sweet quality to the mixture. And the pungency of fresh, chopped rosemary enhances the aroma as the stew simmers.

This satisfying stew is easy to prepare and it makes great leftovers. March weather can still be nippy, but you can chase away the chill with this nutritious meal in a bowl. Or enjoy it with a crusty piece of whole-wheat or multigrain bread and a green salad.

American Irish Stew

American Irish Stew

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs. beef, top round, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (stew beef with the fat trimmed may be substituted)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional)
  • 3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth, or as needed
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 75 minutes or until meat is tender.

Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender. Do not overcook to avoid potatoes falling apart.

Serve hot and garnish with parsley.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 1 1/4 cups

Per serving: 370 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate,
32 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 427 mg sodium.


Our Mission: The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

We have contributed over $105 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. Find evidence-based tools and information for lowering cancer risk, including AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, at www.aicr.org.


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