Irish Beef Stew + Cheddar Chive Biscuits
Cozy Irish beef stew with stout, potatoes, and carrots is hearty, flavorful, and so delicious. Serve with flaky, buttery cheddar chive biscuits for the ultimate comfort food situation!
Sure, maybe spring is quickly approaching and maybe you’re completely over soup season. It’s totally fair to be dreaming of fresh garden produce Or, perhaps you:
- Want to pretend it’s still autumn and you’re just not ready to *let it go*.
- Live in a place where you randomly get snowstorms even in the middle of Spring (it Reno).
- Have a wicked sinus infection (it me).
- Just straight up don’t think soup should have a ‘season’ at all. Let it live its life!
If you fit into any of the above categories, then let me introduce you to the best ever Irish beef stew which I have made approximately five times over the past few weeks. The broth is honestly to die for, it’s so flavorful and rich and all around perfect. And then, we serve it with some super easy, flaky, buttery biscuits stuffed with white cheddar and chives, because why not? Omgggg I could eat this meal forever.
I will warn you that if you’re looking for some kind of quick-and-dirty beef stew recipe, this is not it. Irish beef stew is the recipe you make when you feel like cozying up and reading a good book while stew bubbles away on the stove all afternoon. Maybe it’s raining outside and you have an endless pot of coffee steaming on the counter. Perhaps the kitchen is clean and the laundry is done and there are cookies baking in the oven. It’s your cozy day fantasy after all!
Your grocery list
- Boneless chuck roast – this is my favorite cut to use for beef stew. It’s the same thing you would buy to make pot roast, and it’s just super flavorful and tender when cooked properly. Stew meat works too!
- Veggies – the classics! Onion, potatoes, and carrots. Feel free to use other root veggies or add peas.
- Stout – I used Great Basin which is a local brewery, but Guinness or another Irish stout would work too. If you want to leave out the booze, just replace it with beef broth.
- Good broth – let’s be real, most people don’t have homemade stock laying around in their freezer. Same! My personal favorite sub is Better Than Bouillon. So much flavor!
- Very cold unsalted butter – this is essential for making flaky biscuits. I also like to use a high-quality butter since it adds a lot of flavor to the biscuits!
- White cheddar cheese – or whatever cheddar you like. I went with an Irish white cheddar which added a nice level of salty goodness.
- Herbs – you’ll need thyme for the stew and chives for the biscuits. If you don’t want to buy a bunch of herbs, you could always make cheddar thyme biscuits and just skip out on the chives altogether!
Other than the above ingredients, everything else is kitchen basics like flour, garlic, vinegar, and other spices/condiments.
How to make the stew
When it comes to chuck roast, or any tougher cut of beef, the trick is to just really cook the shit out of it. (My mother’s words, not mine). So basically, that’s exactly what we’re going to do here! Make sure to start early, because you’ll need at least two hours of cooking time.
- Sear – Coat the beef in flour, and sear it in a hot pan until nice and browned. You want to avoid over crowding the pan, or the beef will steam instead of sear. Don’t worry if the flour starts to look a little dark. As long as it’s not completely burnt, you’re fine!
- Saute & deglaze – Saute the onion until softened and browned on the edges. Then add some tomato paste, garlic, and red wine vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add the stout and scrape up any browned bits (brown = flavor!), Then, add the beef broth, beef, and spices.
- Simmer – Let it simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. Add the potatoes and carrots, and cook another 30 minutes. At this point, the veggies should be fork tender and the broth will be a bit thick from the flour we used to coat the beef. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
How to make the biscuits
While the soup is simmering, I like to make fresh biscuits. These are perfect for dipping and add a little something-something to the dish. I know that making homemade biscuits may seem finicky but it’s actually so easy! Here’s how I do it.
- Butter & flour – Combine all of the dry ingredients in a food processor. Add the chunks of butter, and pulse until the butter is pea-sized. Alternatively, you can use two butter knifes to cut the butter into the flour.
- Milk, cheese, & chives – Place the flour-butter mix into a bowl, and add the whole milk just until combined. It may be a bit crumbly. Add the white cheddar and chives. Then, use your hands to quickly form the mixture into a dough. The dough may be a bit sticky, so make sure to flour your hands well.
- Fold – Next you’ll pat the dough into a 1/2” rectangle. Fold 1/3 of the dough into the center, and then fold the other 1/3 over the top. Flip the dough 90° horizontally, flatten, and fold. Repeat the process for a total of four folds.
- Cut – Flatten the dough one last time into a 1/2” rectangle. Use a 2-3” biscuit cutter or jar lid to cut out 6-8 biscuits. Don’t twist when you cut! Twisting seals off the edges and prevents tall, flaky layers.
- Bake – Brush with an egg wash and bake until golden brown. Serve with lots of butter and a Kosher salt!
Storing & reheating
Whenever I have leftovers, I just store the stew in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Also, Irish beef stew reheats like a dream! Sometimes I even like soup after it’s had time to meld for a day or so. To reheat, just place the stew in a pot on the stove, and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes (for 1-2 servings) or 10 minutes (for 3+ servings).
To store the biscuits, just place them in an airtight container and let them hang out on the counter for up to three days.
Tips & Tricks
Just a few things to keep in mind while cooking this recipe to make sure it comes out perfectly!
- Don’t over crowd the pan – when searing the beef, give it some space. If you add all the beef chunks at once, it will steam instead of sear. Just brown the beef chunks in 3-4 batches, more if necessary.
- Cook the beef 5ever – the trick to getting chuck roast, stew meat, and other tough cuts of beef to become tender is to cook the beef for a long ass time. Let the beef simmer for 1 hour minimum, but preferably 1 1/2 hours.
- The freezer is your friend – if the dough starts to get a little greasy when you’re making the biscuits, it means your butter is melting. This is bad, because very cold butter is essential for flaky layers! Feel free to pop the dough in the freezer for 5 minutes or so if the butter starts to melt at any point.
- Don’t twist – adding a twisty flair when you cut biscuits seems fun, but it’s actually bad! The twist will create a seal that will prevent the biscuits from rising and creating flaky layers.
More cozy soup recipes!
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Irish Beef Stew + Cheddar Chive Biscuits
Irish Beef Stew
- 1/3 c flour
- 2-2 1/2 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 Tbs. neutral oil, plus more as needed
- 1 large onion, peeled and diced into 1-inch chunks
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
- 12 oz stout beer
- 4 c beef broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium bunch of thyme, about 8 sprigs
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Cheddar Chive Biscuits
- 1 1/2 c flour
- 3/4 Tbs baking powder
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 6 Tbs unsalted butter, very cold
- 1/2 c whole milk
- 1/2 c white cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 Tbs. chives, chopped
- 1 egg
Irish Beef Stew
- In a large bowl, toss the beef and flour until we’ll coated. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot, and sear the beef a few pieces at a time until browned on all sides, adding more oil as needed. Do not overcrowd the pan. Place the seared beef on a plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, stirring until browned on the edges, about 5 minutes. Then, add the tomato paste, garlic, and red wine vinegar and cook for an additional minute. Add the stout, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the beef along with the juices, beef broth, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Add the potatoes and carrots and cook until all the vegetables are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme springs and discard. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with cheddar chive biscuits. Enjoy!
Cheddar Chive Biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the food processor. Pulse until the butter is pea-sized. Alternatively, you can whisk the dry ingredients together, and cut the butter into the flour mixture with two butter knives or a pastry cutter.
- Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the milk, and stir until the dough starts to come together. Don't overwork the dough. It will be crumbly and a bit shaggy. Add the white cheddar and chives.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, bring the dough together – it will be a little sticky so keep flouring your hands. Next, flatten the dough into a 1/2'' rectangle. Fold 1/3 of the dough towards the center, and then fold the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the top. Flip 90° horizontally. Repeat flattening and folding the dough three more times, turning horizontally between each fold.
- Press the dough one last time into a 1/2'' rectangle. With a floured 2-3'' biscuit cutter or jar lid, cut 6-8 biscuits. Don't twist the cutter! Re-press the dough scraps as needed. Place the biscuits in the freezer for about 5 minutes or in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the biscuits on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Whisk the egg with 1 Tbs. of water, and brush the mixture over the top and sides of the biscuits. Bake 18-22 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the layers are flaky. Serve warm with butter and Kosher salt.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Cigarettes in the Theatre by Two Door Cinema Club