Sunday, March 16, 2014

Irish Stew and Celtic Trinity Knots

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Okay, I'm a day early but I can't help it. I'm excited. I love St. Paddy's Day!
I'm pretty sure we have some percentage of Irish blood flowing through our veins. Doesn't everyone?
Anyway, I am very happy to do this blog today because of a couple of reasons......
1.) St. Patrick's Day...'nuff said
2.) I got to play with bread
3.) Stew is delicious
4.) my pictures turned out so pretty 
Oh, I should mention.... this stew recipe is for a crowd. I wanted to make it big enough to feed the animals  my coworkers at work. Near as I can tell this make approx 20 servings of about 1 cups each.
The Celtic Trinity Knots (1 can of Pillsbury Pizza Dough and 1 can of Pillsbury Grands Crescent Dough) yielded a total of 48 knots. So, 20 servings of 2 knots with a few left over. 
Let's start with the stew recipe :)

Irish Stew

8 cups beef broth
2 cans (440 ml each) Guinness draught
1/2 cup barley
3 Tbsp vegetable oil +
2 1/2 lbs stewing beef, cut into chunks
1/4 cup flour
 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup red wine
12 large carrots, coarsely chopped
12 medium potatoes, quartered
4 leeks, cut into medium slices
2 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped

Heat broth in a very large sauce pan (at least a 10 liter/10 quart pan). Add in the Guinness. 
Keep simmering and add in the barley.
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the 3 Tbsp of oil. Place the chunks of beef in a large plastic bag and add in the flour. Shake to coat. (You may need another Tbsp or two to coat all the pieces.)
Cook the meat, about 1/3 of it at a time, in the frying pan. You want to brown the meat and seal in the flavors. 

When the meat is browned, remove from the pan and add to the simmering broth. Repeat until all meat is cooked. 
Add the 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil to the hot pan. 
Add in the chopped onions. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes then add them to the broth as well.
Take the 1/3 cup of red wine and pour it in the hot pan. Deglaze the pan with the wine and then add this to the broth. (You want to make sure you scrape up all the tasty bits stuck to the pan!)
Cover the saucepan and let simmer, very gently, for 2 hours. Stir every 20 minutes or so to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. (If it seems to be sticking then turn the heat down even more.)
After 2 hours - add in the carrots, potatoes, and leeks. Cover and continue to simmer for an additional 40 minutes. Again, stir occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
After 40 minutes - in a small bowl mix the 2 mashed potatoes with the 1 Tbsp of flour. Add this to the stew and stir well. (This acts as a thickener and makes it more "stew like"). 
Cook and stir for another 5 - 10 minutes until thickened. 

You can serve like this....
Or garnish with the chopped parsley....

Mmmmmm.... tasty with baking powder biscuits or a hunk of our Irish Potato Bread  or with our pretty Celtic Trinity Knots (instructions follow below!).

Celtic Trinity Knots

1/4 cup melted butter (we used our Guinness Butter)
1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, powdered
1 can Pillsbury Pizza Dough 
1 can Pillsbury Grands Crescent Dough

Preheat oven to 375. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set side.
Open the can of Pillsbury Pizza Dough (or Crescent Dough) and unroll on counter. Pinch seams together, flip dough over, and pinch seams together again.
Cut the dough into 24 equal strips. (12 strips each from the crescent dough as it is in 2 pieces)
In the photos below the crescent dough is on the right and pizza dough is on the left.

To make each knot: 

Starting at step #3 in the photo above - Place 1 strip in a "rainbow" shape. (Helpful hint - roll the strip in your palms so it is rounded and not flat. I found this made shaping the knot easier.)
Step #4 - take one side and fold it up over the middle of the "rainbow" to form a loop. 
Step #5 - take the other side and fold it up and over the first loop, leaving a small hole in the center where they cross over. 
Step #6 - Pinch together the ends of the strip into a point. Pinch the 2 loops into points as well. Do your best to shape the knot so all loops are even. 
Step #7 - Place the knots onto the prepared cookie sheet. Using a pastry or basting brush, lightly brush each knot with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.
Step #8 - Bake at 375 until tops are browned, about 15 minutes or so - keep checking.
Step #9 - Remove from cookie sheet and serve warm or let cool completely and serve at room temp. 
(Crescent dough is on the right and pizza dough is on the left in the photos below). 

I found the crescent dough was softer than the pizza dough. The pizza dough went quite crispy. Not that that is a bad thing! The crispy, cheesy knots were delicious with the stew. 
Okay, the crescent dough knots were equally as delicious. Personal preference which one you prefer. I think I liked the crescent ones a bit more. Need a hint as to which ones Sue liked? (Yeah, it was the pizza ones - big surprise!)
You can, of course, just use either/or. I used both because I wanted to see how each would turn out. When I make them again I will most likely just use the Pillsbury Grands Crescent Dough as I preferred the softer texture. 

You should totally make this for your St. Patrick's Day dinner. 
The Celtic Trinity Knots take about an hour to make - depending on how fast you are at shaping them - and the stew takes about 30 minutes of prep work (ie: cutting veggies, cooking the meat) otherwise it just bubbles away on the stove for the afternoon making your house smell AMAZING. 
You can very easily half the stew recipe and make 10-ish servings. Or, make the whole batch as it freezes very well! 



  1. Thank you for linking up last week at Meal Planning Monday Recipe Link-Up, I hope you stop by again this week. :) Happy St. Patrick's Day! Love the Celtic Trinity Knots, I am definitely pinning this idea! :)

  2. My mom cooked a lot of irish stew for us when we were kids. It was one of my favorite meals. I love the addition of the Celtic Knots. They are the perfect thing to serve with a big bowl of hot stew. Pinning!

  3. I'm pinning as well! I want to make these for our Sunday School class to explain the Trinity!

  4. This is a perfect St. Patrick's Day menu.Thank you so for linking up the recipe to the This Is How We Roll Thursday party.

  5. I love this, especially the celtic knot! Being married to an Irish guy has really allowed me to discover rich meaningful history and great Irish food like this! Thanks for sharing this with us on Wine'd Down Wednesday! :-)
    Cathy@ three kids and a

  6. Mmmm, this looks delicious and so beautiful. I love the Celtic trinity knots. Definitely have to try making these for my guys. Thank you for sharing at Inspire Me Wednesday. Featuring you in this week's issue.

  7. Those knots are beautiful. I'm definitely pinning this to my St. Patrick's Day board. Thanks! And thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Mondays! Have a great weekend -- we hope to see you next week!

  8. Looks amazing, and I'm so impressed with those knots!! Wow! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

  9. I just want to dive right into that stew and those knots are gorgeous! You are being featured over at Simple Supper Tuesday this week. We hope you can join us again, starting Monday night at 8pm, EST.

  10. Replies
    1. The recipe here is made with beef but if you prefer lamb you could definitely use it instead.

  11. Hello, for how many people is that recipe?