Sunday, March 15, 2015

Donna Hay's Irish Beef Stew w/ Puff Pastry Dippers

A lovely beef stew to celebrate St. Patrick's Day! The puff pastry dippers are a fun twist to this hearty Irish inspired Beef Stew. After all, who can argue with a puff pastry dipper?  Especially when you can dunk into this thick, herbaceous, meaty, and veggie-packed stew?

We're cooking with our mystery box ingredients over at I Heart Cooking Clubs this week. Participants are asked to choose at least three of the following ingredients: bacon, mushrooms, thyme, cucumber, cumin, leeks, apricots, pistachios, ricotta,and orange flower water. We can then chose any recipe from one of these illustrious chefs: Nigella Lawson, Mark Bittman, Giada de LaurentiisJamie Oliver, Tessa Kiros, Rick Bayless, Madjur Jaffrey, Yotam Ottolenghi, Donna Hay, Nigel Slater, or Diana Henry

I knew I wanted to make a beef stew so I chose bacon, mushrooms, and thyme as my ingredients. Then I searched high and lo for a hearty beef stew recipe until this one caught my eye! I loved the idea of adding cornstarch to thicken the soup, but I must admit it was the puff pastry dippers that won me over! This stew was a massive hit! I highly recommend it!

Beef Stew with Puff Pastry Dippers
Adapted from Donna Hay's Seasons
Serves 4-6

5-6 slices of bacon, cut into lardons
1 pound beef chuck, cubed
1 onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup potato, cubed
1 cup peas
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
1 cup Stout/Dark Lager, or water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water, to make a slurry
1 block puff pastry, thawed
herbs to garnish puff pastry, if desired

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Coat with oil, and add the bacon and cook until it becomes crisp.
  3. Remove bacon from the pan with slotted spoon. Brown beef in bacon fat. Remove from pan.
  4. Add mushrooms, onion, carrot, and potato, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic, thyme, and bay leaves, and cook for 30 seconds. 
  6. Add the beef and three-fourths of the bacon (reserving some for garnish) back into the pot.
  7. Add the beef broth and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  8. Simmer for 1½ hours or until the beef is tender.
  9. While the stew is simmering, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  10. Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 6–8 strips.
  11. If desired, brush the puff pastry with melted butter and fresh herbs.
  12. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and perfectly puffed.
  13. Prepare a slurry of cornstarch and water.
  14. Add slurry to simmering beef stew and simmer, stirring, until it is thickened.
  15. Stir in the peas and allow to cook for a few minutes.
  16. Serve ladle-fulls of the stew with the golden strips of puff pastry.

Theme:March Mystery Box Madness
Souper Sundays: Every Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen


  1. That looks deliciously hearty and wholesome, perfect for this time of year. Great use of the mystery box ingredients.

  2. Great use of the MBM ingredients and I am truly loving those puff pastry dippers. Dipping always makes it more fun. ;-) Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays this week too!

  3. Mmmm! Great stew and just in time for St. Paddie's Day! Kudos!

  4. This stew looks amazing. love Donna Hay's recipes

  5. Now I want to know why I haven't been making puff pastry dippers to go with my soup all these years!

  6. OH! Lovely! What a nice rich thick stew. AND I love the puff dippers. I can see my next stew with those.

  7. I love puff pastry with anything, so I know this would be tasty to me.

  8. No beer ? I heard they use bear in Irish Beef stew :)


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