Karina's Irish Beef Stew

Gluten-Free Irish Beef Stew from Gluten-Free Goddess Karina

Beef Stew. Who knew?

This recipe is a surprise- even to me. Beef stew? You wouldn't expect a life-long Vegetarian Goddess to create and fall in love with an Irish beef stew recipe, but that is precisely what happened this weekend. 


Tell me about it.

Just when you think you've got your life all figured out, and your tastes and preferences arranged in a tidy packet of self-identification and veggie piety- all Hades breaks loose. Celiac. Food allergies. Broken hip.

Suddenly, your food-world view is quite literally flipped on its leafy little head.

So, after my orthopedic surgeon's instructions to "eat lots of animal protein" to support the healing of my hip fracture, my husband and I decided to try our collective hands at making our very first Irish beef stew together.

The first beef stew of our marriage.

And what did I do as I spooned the first taste into my hesitant, quivering lips? Gentle Reader, I swooned like a virgin in a bodice ripper. I sighed. I grew faint with pleasure. I slurped. Oh my! I murmured through one spoonful after another. Wow, said my partner in crime. This is mighty damn tasty.

You could have knocked us over with a feather.

Karina's Irish Beef Stew Recipe

Recipe originally posted October 2007.

We made our Irish stew in a slow cooker early in the afternoon. Well, actually, My Darling did most of the work. I sat nearby and offered opinions. The aromas emanating from our little cocina drove us stark craving mad till dinner time.


2 lbs. grass fed organic beef, cut into cubes
Sea salt
Light olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup fresh pearl onions, trimmed, peeled
3 good sized hefty gold potatoes, peeled, cut up
3 good sized carrots, peeled, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup dry red table wine
4 cups organic beef broth (I used Organic Better Than Bouillon- check labels!)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons dried Italian or French herbs, to taste (thyme, sage, rosemary)
1 bay leaf
Ground pepper, to taste


First- salt the cubes of beef on all sides. Wait a few minutes (discuss the looming Writer's Guild of America contract strike and soberly sip green tea).

Get your slow cooker situated and turned on to High.

Heat a dash of light olive oil in a deep heavy pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides to sear in the flavor, using long tongs to turn the pieces. This doesn't take but maybe five minutes, or so. Remove the beef and add it to the Crock Pot.

Add in the garlic, pearl onions, potatoes, carrots and celery. Pour in the wine and broth. Stir. Add the balsamic, herbs and ground pepper. Cover and let the magic happen. The stew is ready when the beef and vegetables are tender- about 4 to 5 hours if cooked on High.

Taste test the broth and adjust for your taste buds- does it need a tad more salt? A pinch of sugar (or dab of agave)? More ground pepper? The flavors should be balanced, warm and inviting. Ready?

Light a few candles, spoon the stew into soup plates, and dig in.

And by the way, my Irish Soda Bread, and these Pumpkin Corn Muffins make a perfect little not-too-sweet bite for this hearty savory stew.

Serves 4 to 5.

Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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Here's a quartet of beef stew recipes to try:

From Elise at Simply Recipes:
Beef Stew with Mushrooms and White Beans
From Kalyn at Kalyn's Kitchen:
Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary
From Isaiah at Gluten-Free Bay:
Beef Tzimmes with Butternut Squash
From Sheltie Girl at Gluten A Go Go:
Tepary Bean and Beef Stew


NuttyMeatfruit said...

That is a long list of ingredients you CAN have! Outstanding :)

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Oh it sounds yummy! And the fact that it's a crock pot recipe is even better. Thank you so much for all of your fabulous recipes. I hope the healing is going well!!

Kalyn said...

Delicious! I'm so happy you concocted something really tasty made with all the ingredients that are ok for you. Good job! Don't you just love the crock pot. So old fashioned, but so functional.

Anonymous said...

"...tidy packet of self identification and veggie piety..."

Oh my, that is just too clever! You do know how to turn a phrase, Karina. Plus the stew looks delicious.

ByTheBay said...

I hope you like the butternut & beef stew. I love it - Perfect for this time of year.


Li & David said...

Gotta nourish that hip!

Beef and a crockpot, now that's a winning combo...

Glad you're feeling better!

Alanna said...

Yippee ~ food that you can eat that tastes good!

Katrina said...

You are so clever! I'm glad to see you haven't lost your sense of humor during all of "this" Happy Healing!

Kristen said...

this sounds good. i'll have to give it a try. i have a VERY good venison stew recipe (gluten-free) that my husband LOVES.

Lynn Barry said...

You go BEEFCAKE...no more babycakes...you a BEEFCAKE GAL NOW (that's my Tobacco Road voice)...whatever works...who the bleep cares. LOVE YA!

Kleja said...

Yum! Another life saver.
Thank you!

Carrie said...

LOLOL Karina, you are so funny! I grew up on beef stew... I think I actually got sick of it growing up.. my mom made this stuff (and not as yummy looking as yours either) nearly every week of winter!!! It was economical I must admit. Now, as an adult I crave this stuff! What a great idea to use sirloin steak... I bet it is fabulous! Just like you! i can't wait to try this!!

Cindy said...

Man, I swear I'm not copying you but we all seem to have similar minds. The cool weather and seasonal recipes must send recipe vibes across the internet. I made a beef stew last night and when I sat down to type it up I saw yours and laughed.

Thanks for the recipe and the other links. I bet you guys loved it, ours was fantastic too... that tender, falling apart slow cooked meat really hits the spot on these 30 degree nights.

I hope these "simple pleasures" are making your healing more bearable! We're keeping you and Steve in our prayers

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Sounds delicious--I think that's going to go on my next week's meal planning.

I feel soooo much better about eating meat now that I get it from local, organic sources that I know treat the animals humanely and pasture them. (Unfortunately, "free range" doesn't actually mean pasturing.) I miss eating entirely vegetarian too, but when you are eating meat, it's a relief to know you can get it from humane (or more humane) sources than factory farms.

Catherine said...

I'm so glad you are finding stuff that's safe to eat on your new diet! I can only begin to imagine. This looks super yummmy.

La Tea Dah said...

Yummy post! I'm so glad you found something so delicious to eat! You've made it sound enticing, even to my veggie palate!

Hope you continue to heal and feel better day by day.


Diana said...

I'm new to your blog, and I just had to post and tell you how fabulous this recipe sounds and looks and how enjoyable I find reading your writing.

I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm making it tonight! My husband has been craving beef stew, and I'm new to gluten-free eating. This will be perfect for us. :)

Karen said...

Hi Karina,

I have been reading your blog from time to time for the past year and really love it. I too recently found out I was gluten intolerant and have about 30 other food sensitivities, many are the same as yours: cow's milk, eggs, yogurt, aged cheeses, green beans, navy beans, chick peas, kidney beans, brown rice, almonds, cashews and pistachios, mustard, tumeric, ginger, chili powder, vanilla, corn sugar (the most difficult!), flax seed, psyllium seed, kale, mushrooms, watercress, green pepper, and zucchini. I discovered on my own that I am sensitive to potassium sorbate, sorbitol, sodium benzoate and I routinely avoid aspartame, msg and nitrates.

I was also tested by Meridian Valley Lab (last December). I got a follow up test from Entero Lab, which is how I found out about the cow's milk and that I have a gene that is associated with celiac, but not one of the main ones. Mine is thought to be associated with gluten ataxia, which (to me anyway)explains the 40+ years of migraines. The headaches, muscle and joint pain, nasal congestion, face swelling, bloating and gas sent me running to a Naturopath last year after two years of trying to resolve the worsening headaches with a Neurologist who had me on Topamax and a beta blocker.

After my diagnosis, I noticed a great correspondence between my headache diary and my food diary (I am a lifetime Weight Watcher). I am also a self made cook who really loves good food and good wine. At first I thought this was a cruel trick of nature to not be able to cook and eat the way I had come to enjoy (smaller portions, whole grains and avoidance of processed food was how I controlled my weight). Now I realize that if I had not had the cooking experience, I would not have survived on such a restricted diet. I eat quite well, although I have days when I still feel sorry for myself. Not sorry enough to eat something that will make me sick for days though.

Anyway, to answer your call for help on breakfast... I found a corn flake cereal from Nature's Path that is sweetened with grape juice. I also found puffed corn cereal and puffed millet cereal from Arrowhead Farms. Whole Foods has a crispy rice cereal that says it is just rice, but I have not checked with them to see if it really is just white rice. Whole Foods sells a white rice milk that I can have and it is very tasty. All the others have brown rice in them. I sometimes can find white rice bread that I can eat. My other staple bread for toast is Ener-g Foods Tapioca Bread, the white version. They also make a hamburger bun that I can have.

For hot cereals, I like Bob's Creamy Buckwheat and I make it with water. I like it best with soy milk (which you cannot have), but it is good with rice milk too. I make oatmeal with certified gluten free oats. Once I made a pretty good muesli with them and quinoa flakes. I have to admit I don't care for the quinoa cereals by themselves. This morning I had Wellshire Farms bacon with Tapioca Toast and a pear and decaf herb tea. (I had to give up caffeine as well because of the migraine and my low adrenal hormones - found out about that from Meridian Labs as well). Last Spring I tried a yeast elimination diet and had to eliminate all grains for a month and that was really tough, but I found some inventive things for breakfast. I made vegetable stir-fries and once had pan fried fillet of sole for breakfast! I can have black beans so I made a black bean and tomato dish one morning that was a little like chili.

I have been experimenting with gluten free grains and have a reasonable workaround for my favorite banana muffins. I use sorghum flour, white rice flour and amaranth flour and add tapioca starch and guar gum and I use rice or soy milk, an egg replacer and earth balance's buttery sticks...or the new trans fat-free Crisco. I seem to be able to tolerate butter, but not milk so sometimes I break down and use butter. For the most part I stay away from all milk products. I can tolerate goat's milk and cheese as long as the latter is fresh and not aged. I cannot tolerate any kind of yogurt, soy, goat, cow, etc. It all brings on my symptoms. I also cannot have Xanthan Gum, as it is made from fermented corn sugar.

Snacks are harder because of the weight gain issue. I gained 10 lbs in my first year of being gluten free. My recent tactic is to keep to whole foods that have fiber. While on vacation I cut up carrots and celery and kept them in the fridge so they were handy and I try to limit how many potato and corn chips I eat. I found a cracker from ener-g foods that I can have (has soy in it). I also use cucumber slices instead of crackers. I like smoked salmon on cucumber or goat cheese, which I can have. Since I cannot have mustard, chick peas or cow's milk cheeses, I have put olive tapanade or tomato tapanade on crackers. If you can eat eggplant, you could make a spread from that. Fruit is my main evening snack. I read that hardly anyone ever becomes allergic to apples, so I eat apples freely.

One book that helped me was the Allergy Self-Help Cookbook, by Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N. She talks about rotational diets and has a lot of good tips...like using unbuffered Vitamin C crystals if you can't use lemon juice. Her recipes are good, although I find I make lots of substitutions because of my specific sensitivities. I really try to rotate my breakfast foods. I have found enough to do a 3-4 day rotation. I found one book that said it was ok to eat the same food more than once in a 24 hour period, so that is what I try to do. My biggest challenge in rotating is with milk substitutes. I do not really care for goat milk so I tend to do one day soy, one day rice. The other challenge is that the only cracker I found I can have as well as my favorite pasta is a blend of soy, potato and corn, so I worry about becoming sensitive to one or all of those. What keeps me going is that even with all the mistakes I make, I feel 100% better than I did last year and I have 1/3 the headaches I used to have and none of the gas and bloating.

I was so sorry to hear about your fractured hip! Since my diagnosis I am looking back at things in my life that I think could have been avoided had I known then what I know now. I broke my foot a few years ago in a sports accident. At the time I could not believe that what I did could have fractured a bone. Now I believe that years of eating gluten lead to this. I have not had a bone density test done, but I am planning to do that next.

Well, I hope this helps a little. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.



Sheltie Girl said...

Karina - I'm glad to see you are doing better and you are able to get up and around a little. Your beef stew looks wonderful. Beef stew is one of our favorites and our traditional Halloween meal.

I love your new hair cut, it looks wonderful on you.

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

P.S. Thanks for the link.

Lea Ray said...

I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better and just think now that you are as Lynn says "Beefcake" now all the new recipes you will be trying. I couldn't imagine not eating beef but I also raise them so it would probably be kinda hard for me.

The weather man is calling for snow next week here in New York so I think I will try your beef stew next week. We're going to need it to warm the innards.

Lynn Barry said...

One more thing...I made pot roast in honor of your newfound love of beef! HUGS

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

Hi Karina!!

I kept on trying to sneak a comment in and inevitably I would get interrupted and think I did one, and I'd come back..and so on.

But here I am, and this stew looks great. Not your mama's beef stew, this one looks grown up and yummy.

I used to hate beef stew when I was a kid, dread that supper. And now, looking at this, I want to try it again.

You are very good at making me re-think the classic American foods I tend to ignore, and see the potential in them. (Like the meatloaf)

And, red meat you go girl. This will nourish you right up!!

By the way, how are you feeling?

Have a great day,

OH, haircut does look great. I do that all the time, grow my hair, get sick of it, chop it off, right now I am in long phase. ;)

Karina said...

Oh Hey SM! It makes me smile to think of you reconsidering old childhood foods in a new light. I'm all about comfort food, that's for sure.

And *so* yeah- not your mother's recipes (and in my case, not my grandmother's either). I think of my takes on classics as my Fairy Godmother's Recipes...

You know- the generous, wise and irreverent One with a hearty laugh and palms that smell of garlic and lime and chocolate. Her. It's her recipes I channel.

And- thanks for the hair comment- you and are Sistahs in that one.



Gluti Girl said...

I made the pumpkin corn muffins tonight for company, gluten eaters mind you, and got rave reviews. So much so, one of the guests said she had to have the exact recipe and did not mine buying some Pamela's to make it exactly as written. Thank you for such yummy recipes. I don't know what I would do without all you bloggers out there!

La said...

I was craving a beefy comfort dish, and the beau and I made this yesterday. We added a can of diced tomatoes, because we're addicts and can't eat anything without tomatoes. It was DELISH, thank you! Next up, banana chocolate chip cake. Yum! Hope you are well!

Karina said...

Hi Gluti Girl!

Oh yay- don't you love it when wheat eaters rave about our gluten-free goodies? ;)

Hey, La! I'm glad you liked the stew- we added some tomatoes, too, on the second day- to stretch the leftovers a bit and change it up a little. Fun.

Be well!


Fab Grandma said...

That is one good looking bowl of stew! The pictures are great, I think I can smell it from here! I don't cook beef often, hubby's endoctrinologist told me to take him off of beef two years ago, so he only gets it about every three months or so. He usually asks for meatloaf, which I secretly make with 1/2 beef/ 1/4 ground pork, and 1/4 ground turkey and he has not complained YET. I will probably make him this beef stew soon, the first time it snows. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Stalkee said...

Thank you so very much for this recipe. It is great to see so many yummy GF things. I'll be crawling your blog for awhile.

I'm planning on us all being snowed in this weekend, and I want to make soups and stews. I have several (too many - from Angel Food) steaks in the freezer, so I am going to see how it goes.

I hope by now that you are well into healing from the hip problems.

Karina said...

Hey Fab Grandma- You sneaky chef! Thanks. And hope you're not too sick of winter by now. ;)

Hi Stalkee- Sounds like a plan. :)

Check out my latest version of this stew with pomegranate juice. We made it again last night. It rocks.


AmyA said...

Karina - My whole family loved the stew...we called it stewp cause it was stew stuff with a broth. My youngest son, Eli, is GF/CF/SF and also garlic, cane sugar and beet sugar free...it is a bit tough...but after 4 months I think I have a handle on it. I may be crazy, but yesterday I mailed back my ALCAT sensitivity test. I fear that it will come back and say that my sensitivities are opposite my son's...please LORD...do not let that be! Anyway, I have forwarded your site and several recipes to other GF friends and they are so thankful. Beef is on Day 1 of the rotation diet, so we are all looking foward to another pot of stewp! THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find a pot roast recipe for the crockpot without packets of onion soup and dressing. Would it work to make this into a pot roast and double the ingredients to accommodate a 4 lb chuck roast? Would you make any other changes to turn this into a "traditional" pot roast? Thank you very much, my father loves pot roast and has requested it.

judie said...

who knew there was egg in wine? what do they use it for?

Karina Allrich said...

Anon- You can definitely make this as a pot roast. I don't think you'd need to change anything except use a single pot roast instead of cutting up the meat. I've done this.

Judie- Many Amercian companies use egg, fish and milk proteins to "fine" the wines for clarity. Look for vegan wines to avoid these additives.

I like Frey organic wines (though their syrah and port are not guaranteed to be gluten-free due to aging in oak barrels; their other wines are crafted in steel and are gluten-free and vegan).



Anonymous said...

If I made this as a 4lb pot roast, I would need to reduce the liquid or my crockpot would overflow. How do you recommend that I reduce the liquid and spices? Happy fall!

Karina Allrich said...

Anon- I would add the roast to the pot, and spoon on the veggies. Then add enough liquid (start with half a cup of wine and maybe 2 cups broth) to come up the sides about half way. Seasoning can remain the same.



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