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There has been a long time dispute over a true traditional Irish stew.  Some will tell you that it is made with only mutton and potatoes.  Others will tell you that some aromatics should be involved such as carrots, celery and onions.  This recipe will make both sides roll their eyes but make their taste buds go crazy.

I chose to use Shipyards Blue Fin Stout, a craft beer with similar qualities to an Irish stout.  It has a dry finish with a slight hop bitterness and a medium roast that gives the stew a great color. Mushrooms deliver a solid earthiness and the golden brown parmesan and potatoes add a crispy crust.  I chose to use corned beef for this recipe but any tough piece of meat that will break down and tenderize over time will work. This is a great dish for a St Patrick’s day party or any occasion.

Serves 8

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Oil
1 Shallot, small dice
½ Spanish onion, medium dice
1 Leek (White part only) medium dice
4 Stalks celery, medium dice
2 Portobello mushroom caps stemmed, medium dice
6 Cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 Lbs prepared corned beef, medium dice
2 12 oz bottles Shipyard Blue Fin Stout
2 oz Tomato paste
1 Qt beef stock
2 Tbsp Fresh thyme, chopped
2 Bay leaves
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pint half and half
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp Fresh nutmeg
¼ cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh parsley


For the Stew

Heat oil in cast iron pan.  Add first 4 ingredients and cook for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add mushrooms and stir frequently until lightly browned.  Stir in corned beef and brown.  Deglaze pan with beer and reduce by half.  Stir in thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste and blend in with beer.  Add beef stock and simmer for about 1 hour.  Season with salt and pepper.  When done remove bay leaf.

For the potatoes

Place potatoes in a pot and ad enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook until

fork tender.  Meanwhile in a separate pan bring butter and half and half to a simmer.  Strain potatoes and add to a blender with a whisk.  turn on low and slowly add cream mixture.  Once potatoes are whipped stir in salt pepper and nutmeg.

Bread Crumbs

Add bread crumbs to a baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown.

Preparation

Add cooled potatoes to a piping bag with a star tip.  Pipe potatoes on top of the stew all the way around until fully covered.  Top with parmesan cheese and broil until cheese becomes golden brown.  Top with bread crumbs and fresh parsley and serve from the cast iron pan.