What makes a dish Irish? Ask the average person on the street and he will probably tell you “corned beef and cabbage,” although I have it on good authority that corned beef is not a traditional Irish food. I’m certainly no expert; though I’d like to believe that at least some of my ancestors came to America from the Emerald Isle, any recipes or culinary traditions they might have passed down through the ages were lost long ago.
So I can’t claim that this is an old family recipe or even a traditional Irish recipe that I adapted or updated. It’s purely my own creation, created from basic ingredients (cabbage, potatoes, carrots) and seasonings (parsley, thyme, rosemary) that can be found in the simple, hearty dishes of Irish home cooking. With barley and white beans, too, it’s a healthy, filling meal all on its own.
Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 ribs celery chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 head cabbage chopped
- 4 carrots sliced
- 1-1 1/2 pounds potatoes cut in large dice
- 1/3 cup pearled barley optional or substitute with gluten-free grain
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6-8 cups vegetable broth
- 3 cups cooked great northern beans (2 cans, drained)
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- salt to taste
Crock Pot: Place the vegetables, seasonings, and barley into a large (at least 5 quart) slow cooker. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables (start with 6 cups and add more as needed). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 hours. Add beans, tomatoes, parsley, and salt to taste. Check seasonings and add more herbs if necessary. Cover and cook for another hour.
Stovetop: Place vegetables, seasonings, barley, and broth into a large stockpot. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, check seasonings, and add more herbs if necessary. Simmer uncovered for at least 15 minutes before serving.
More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes:
- Dublin Coddle with Vegan Irish Sausages
- Colcannon Puffs
- St. Patrick’s Day Zucchini Muffins
- Vegan Corned Beef & Cabbage, Roasted Potatoes, and Soda Bread