Food & dining

Sunday Supper

Irish-style stew and beef pie are simply satisfying

Irish beef stew.
Sally Pasley Vargas for the Boston globe
Irish beef stew.

Irish stew, typically made with lamb, is simple fare, simmered only with potatoes, the liquid either water or stock. Recent additions include carrots and onions as embellishments. This version, made with beef, mimics the traditional style. Bacon adds a bit of richness at the beginning of cooking, and turnips fill in for the usual potatoes, but the spirit is the same: a no-frills, satisfying meal.

In case you missed potatoes the first time around, they are the topping on the second-day dish, some of the stew reheated and topped with a buttery mash made with plenty of parsley and scallions. When March gusts rattle the windowpanes, a hearty beef stew and makeshift shepherd’s pie is what’s called for.


(For stew, beef and potato pie)


3 pounds boneless beef chuck,
shoulder, or round

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

3 slices thick-cut bacon (about 4 ounces)

5 tablespoons butter

1 scant cup whole milk

4 Yukon Gold potatoes


6 carrots

12 boiling onions

1 large rutabaga (yellow turnip)

4 scallions

1 bunch fresh parsley


Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons flour

Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at