Novel Baking: Irish Stew with Soda Bread

Irish Beef Stew with Irish Whiskey Soda Bread! A delicious stick-to-your-ribs Irish Stew and soda bread recipe with currants and caraway seed soaked in Irish Whiskey. Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or cold weather comfort food!


I’m joining The Novel Bakers with

Home Made Winter.


(County Kerry, Ireland, photo by Oof Verschuren, Home Made Winter)

Yvette van Bovan’s Home Made Winter is full of comforting winter food, including inspiration from Ireland where she spent her childhood.


Irish Stew with Soda Bread sounded like the perfect recipe with our unusually cold winter weather~ hearty, comforting and a celebration in a bowl in advance of St. Patrick’s Day!


Yvette von Boven’s recipe for Irish Stew calls for lamb. I substituted beef, using a 1 1/2 pound chuck roast. I also added some additional parsnips and carrots in place of the rutabaga in the recipe. This is a delicious stick-to-your-ribs Irish Stew!

I’m sure it’s wonderful as written with lamb too.


Irish Beef Stew, adapted from Homemade Winter

2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1” pieces

1 large onion, diced

1- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (my addition for depth of flavor with the beef)

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 leeks, white and light green parts, washed well and sliced into rounds

3 parsnips, peeled and cubed

3 carrots, peeled and cubed

salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 – 8 cups low sodium beef stock or a combination of beef & chicken stock

fresh thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (I used the equivalent of baby Yukon golds quartered or cut in thirds depending on size, no peeling required)

½ cup barley

1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped


Add olive oil to a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add beef in batches to pot in one layer, without overcrowding. Brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add additional oil if needed to the pan, then add the onion, celery, leeks, parsnip, carrots, and saute for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Add the beef back to the pot and enough broth to cover everything generously, then add the thyme and bay leaves.

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover, simmering for an hour, or until the beef is tender. The cooking time will depend on the quality of the meat.

Add the potatoes and the barley, cook 30 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle the stew generously with parsley and serve with a nice piece of soda bread. It tastes even better the next day. You can find a printable recipe, here.

Irish Whiskey Soda Bread

Sink your teeth in Irish Whiskey Soda Bread!

Home Made Winter’s recipe called for 8 cups of flour, but I only had a little over 4 cups after round two of my Cardamom Pear Cake. I loved the addition of raisins/currants and caraway seed soaked in Irish whiskey in the soda bread so I looked for another recipe I could adapt with Home Made Winter flavor.


Irish Whiskey Soda Bread,

adapted from Allrecipes & Home Made Winter


1 cup raisins or currants

1 1 /2 teaspoon caraway seed

4 tablespoon Irish whiskey

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, melted (or less)

1/4 cup buttermilk



Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet or line with parchment. Mix the raisins/currants with the caraway seeds and whiskey and let soak for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Work in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Spoon the raisin-whiskey mixture through the flour mixture. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg.


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

You can find a printable recipe, here.


I’m joining The Novel Bakers for

Home Made Winter this week. . .

Visit Jain and Michael Lee

for more Home Made Winter fun~

 a quiet life

Rattlebridge Farm 

Follow The Novel Bakers on Pinterest for Home Made Winter.

Irish Beef Stew with Irish Whiskey Soda Bread

Thank you for your visit, also sharing at:

 Between Naps on the Porch,
StoneGableConfessions of a Plate Addict, Worthing Court, Cedar Hill Farmhouse

  28 comments for “Novel Baking: Irish Stew with Soda Bread

  1. Cheryl
    January 30, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Oh your photos…they are so wonderful that my mouth is watering right now. Stew has always been one of my favorites, but best of all to me is the recipe for soda bread. I’ve wanted to try making it for a while now. So happy to have the recipe. Thanks, Mary!

  2. January 30, 2014 at 6:41 am

    For this cold weather what a better supper! Yum!

  3. poussière d'Argence
    January 30, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Je ne parle pas anglais mais d’après tes photos et quelques mots anglais que je connais je pense avoir compris la recette. J’adore les soupes et la tiennes a l’air succulente, je vais la faire pour demain. Le pain je pense que c’est un pain aux raisins. Chez nous, nous faisons toujours notre pain.
    Merci de ce beau partage.
    Amitiés d’une française.

  4. January 30, 2014 at 6:57 am

    Mary, we were thinking along the same line…I recently made stew, too, but mine sure didn’t look as pretty as yours! LOL I didn’t even consider taking a photo.
    Loved the adaptations on Irish soda bread!! Yummo!!
    Beautiful photographs, as always.

  5. January 30, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Oh my goodness … I’ll be right over! I do love Irish stew (I’d probably a few turnips) and the Irish Whiskey and Soda Bread. Wait! That’s — Irish Whiskey Soda Bread. (A girl can dream)!!!!

  6. January 30, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Both items sound great Mary! I love the addition of barley to the stew and whiskey to the bread-yum:@)

  7. January 30, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Reblogged this on Garum.

  8. paula
    January 30, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Looks picture perfect as always !!
    p.s.. I was telling the ladies at the Hallmark store about your pear cake yesterday, and they think I should make it to share with them, me make that hehe :) I said!!?

  9. franki
    January 30, 2014 at 9:21 am

    There! I’m baking Irish Whiskey Soda Bread for our “Super Bowl” party! franki

  10. January 30, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Looks wonderful on this cold day! Even those in Hotlanta would appreciate stew after the freeze they had. I guess CA people rarely make winter hearty meals when their temps are so warm.
    Though I’ve made several hundred loaves of ISB , I never thought of serving it with stew, I must try it.
    Your pics are wonderful! Pea soup and stew are not easy to photograph deliciously!

  11. January 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Oh, I want to come to your house! That stew and bread look amazing…makes me very hungry! Smile…


  12. January 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    such a wonderful book brought to life by you. all the wet weather went south of us today or i may have been tempted to make this myself, this book truly is the perfect winter cookbook. i am not much of a bread eater, but i appreciate that you had to booze it up, so true to your form! did you dunk it in wine too? ;-)

    your pics are always wonderful, some foods aren’t exciting, but as always you can make anything look delectable. can’t wait to see what you make next!

  13. January 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    The perfect winter meal, and so beautifully presented. You made humble stew look like the food of the gods and I can almost taste the Irish soda bread~you have been brilliant in the kitchen with this fun book!

  14. January 30, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Mary, You are one of my favorite bloggers. Once again I want to tell you how masterful you are at creating gorgeous vignettes. I have started a board on pinterest called And the winner is… It is all about a picture so pretty and invite that you just want to loose yourself in it. It can be about anything but nothing ordinary! I would love to invite “the vignette queen” to post on this board when you have a picture that evokes the above feelings. I hope you will accept my invitation. Lisa Gower Montgomery

  15. January 30, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Wow Mary, I’d love a bowl of that Irish stew for my dinner tonight with a big slice of your Irish soda bread. Ireland was the only Europeon country that my hubby and I ever visited, on our dream vacation several years ago. Your posts are bringing back wonderful memories. xo

  16. January 30, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    Oh that stew looks SO good. I have to go to the grocery tomorrow (to get ready for Super Bowl) so will pick up what I need for this wonderful meal. Thanks so much, Mary. Have a great weekend.

  17. January 30, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    The stew and soda bread both look and sound delicious and I think I can try making this bread! I can’t wait to see what you make tomorrow! Linda

  18. February 3, 2014 at 7:37 am

    YEA!! I’ve been looking for a good recipe for Irish Stew and you just shared it!! I’m making this (and the bread) this week! Thanks so much!!

  19. Ashley
    March 16, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    How many people does this stew recipe serve ?

    • March 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      4 – 6 people depending on how hungry they are :)

  20. celeste meehan
    March 18, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    when do you add the tomato paste? thanks!

    • March 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      When you add the broth to the pot :)


  21. celeste meehan
    March 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    thanks, mary!

  22. DeniseB.
    March 17, 2015 at 10:04 am

    this is a great recipe – I made it last year for St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m making it again today :)

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: