No.144 Short Rib Irish Stew

Irish Stew to the Irish is essentially what Stovies are to the Scots. Lamb or Beef? Waxy or floury potatoes? Guinness or no Guinness? This is my take. It does take time but you get an extra richness from the bone and short ribs need enough time to get succulent.

Now you might say why tea and malt extract instead of Guinness. I would much rather drink my Guinness for a start. Secondly, I find using stouts can give a bitterness that overrides the other flavours. Tea and malt extract step in here to deliver those malty flavours you where trying to get from the Guinness.

Time: 3 hours the day before and 45 minutes on the day

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Straight forward

800g of Beef Short Ribs (4 pieces)

2 Carrots

2 Onions

1 Stalk of Celery

1 Bay Leaf

600ml of Beef Stock

100ml of Black Tea

2 tablespoons of Malt Extract

75g of Pearl Barley

800g New Potatoes

Cornflour (optional)

Day Before

1. In large pot add the short ribs with a little oil (or beef dripping) and brown. Then remove and set aside.

2. Dice 1 onion, 1 carrot and the celery. Add to the pot on a medium heat to soften. Then add the stock, short ribs, bay leaf, malt extract and tea.

3. Simmer for 2 hours topping up with water if needed.

4. Meanwhile cook the barley for 40 minutes in boiling water until tender. Once cool store in the fridge overnight.

6. Once 2 hours has passed remove the short ribs and store in the fridge over night. Meanwhile strain the stock from the pot and keep for the next day.

On the day

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (360 degrees Fahrenheit. Roast the short rib for 40 minutes. Salt and pepper before putting in the oven.

2. Boil the potatoes until tender.

3. Reheat the stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Dice the remaining onion and carrot and add to the stock and simmer until softened. Thicken with cornflour as needed.

4. Serve by adding some of the stock and vegetables to a large bowl. Half the potatoes and add, then place the short rib on top.

2 thoughts on “No.144 Short Rib Irish Stew

  1. Peter, This is Margaret, Beth’s mum. I want to make this recipe while I’m stuck at home. What can I substitute for malt extract if I can’t find it? I’ve never used it so don’t have it in my kitchen. When I look on Amazon, it is something used in beer making? Is this something I have to have for this stew?

    We are well here in Virginia. Most of our family is at home here in VA and CA but my husband is still having to go in.

    Stay well. Thanks for your help!

    Margaret Smith



    1. Malt extract can be tricky find, in the UK it’s mostly health food stores that have it. It mostly comes as a thick syrup in jars.

      You could use the liquid from the boiling the barley and reduce it and then add in a tablespoon of brown sugar or molasses. Considering your in the states you actually can try using malt powder. It milk based actually a lot of stouts are made with milk powder anyway. It’s something that I actually have never seen here in the UK.

      Best of luck for the next few months. It’s getting very real over here in the UK. I’m awaiting the call to be drafted back to the hospital to work. Stay safe.


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