Hard to believe that we’re almost to the end of February with only a week left in the month. I’m already thinking ahead to spring, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter. We’ve had enough rain and snow in northern Nevada this winter that I think the spring should be spectacular this year. I’ve started to get a jump on recipes for the season and one I tried this past weekend is a variation of an Irish Stew.
Mostly a true Irish Stew, if there is one, would use lamb in it. While lamb is okay. it’s not my first choice for meat. To be honest, I prefer pork over lamb or beef, so I was happy to find this recipe from one of my favorite online people, Chef John, that uses pork and Brussels sprouts, which he calls baby cabbages. I don’t think that’s exactly accurate, but I do like sprouts so it’s fine with me. I expect, you could cut cabbage into quarters, cook them in water for a few minutes, then pop them into the stew for the last five minutes and they would work quite well. I only made a couple of minor changes to Chef John’s stew. Check out his recipe and video here.
This stew is delicious, very savory, easy to make, and best of all, low in carbs. I find the pork is more tender than beef and is, I’m sorry little piggies, a favorite taste of mine. You could still make the stew with beef or chicken, if you prefer.
Savory Pork Irish Stew
3 pounds boneless Pork Shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
Salt and ground Black Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 cup Onions, chopped
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon all purpose Flour*
1 Bay Leaf
8 ounces Dark Beer, like Guinness
2 cups Chicken Broth
3 Carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 stalks Celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley
3 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
12 Brussels Sprouts, halved
*low carb flours don’t work well as a thickener
Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil. Add pork cubes in batches, cooking and stirring until they are lightly browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl and do the next batch until they are all done. Set aside.
To the pan, add butter, then add the onions and cook the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for about thirty seconds. Add flour; cook and stir until it is mixed in completely. Add beer to the pot, then add the cornstarch mixture and a bay leaf. Cook and stir until the mixture thickens.
Add pork, carrots, celery, and chicken broth to the pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in parsley and balsamic vinegar. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to simmer until the pork is tender, about two hours.
Heat a pot of water to a boil, then add the halved Brussels sprouts and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the sprouts, then add to the stew and cook until the sprouts are fork-tender, around 5 more minutes.
Serve with Irish Soda Bread or a cauliflower/turnip mash to complete the meal.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories 623 Fat: 44.3 g Net Carbs: 8 g Protein: 42.1 g