The hard-working Irish have been an important part of New Orleans since the mid-1800s when they flocked to the port city fleeing the Irish Potato Famine. The Irish immigrants populated a working-class neighborhood alongside the Mississippi River that consequently became known as the Irish Channel. On St. Patrick’s Day, their descendants celebrate in true New Orleans fashion with a Mardi Gras–style parade. Float riders toss cabbages, carrots, onions, and potatoes to the crowds who take their booty home to cook up traditional stews like this one. CCFM vendors sell huge fresh cabbages along with other cruciferous veggies all winter long. Here, Chef Matt Murphy (a REAL Irishman!) shares his secret recipe for traditional Irish stew.
Heat oil in a heavy pot over high heat. Season beef with salt and pepper, then dust with flour. Brown beef in hot oil. When beef is browned, add stock, carrots, leeks, onions, celery, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary; mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. After about an hour of cooking, add potatoes.
To serve, remove bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Add salt and pepper if needed to adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley. The next day, the stew tastes even better!
Recipe compliments of Chef Matt Murphy, French Quarter Bar
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.