Skip to content

St. Patrick’s Stew is always on the menu at this local Irish pub

Here’s a spot that serves a brothy bowl of Irish stew all year round
St. Patrick's Stew at Kelly O’Bryan's and Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub is made with slow-braised beef and a Guinness gravy

If you are craving a traditional Irish stew, you are in luck — even if you don’t find a four-leaf clover this St. Paddy's Day. 

Columbia Street’s Kelly O’Bryan's Restaurant and Carlos O’Bryan’s Pub serves their St. Patrick’s Stew all year round. The item is part of the restaurant's “Celtic favourites” that includes chicken quesadilla, steak sandwich, Irish-battered fish and more. 

Jan Bishop, head chef at the restaurant, called St. Patrick's Stew one of their bestsellers — and that’s accounting the entire year, not just when there are shimmery shamrocks and green streamers all around. 

“Chain wide, we have sold around 5,400 (orders of) stews this past year,” said Bishop. 

But the stew gets slurped a lot more on the day it’s named after.

“We go from selling like eight litres a day, to probably like 17 to 18 litres on St. Patrick's Day.” 

Which means, the day of green beers and Irish mules, is also the day for a good old stew; the stew, however, is best believed to be enjoyed with a glass of Guinness, said Bishop.

What goes into the stew?

Though the traditional Irish stew is made with mutton (as per the New York Times), the New West pub makes it with tender “melt-in-your-mouth” beef chunks. 

The beef is slow-braised overnight (for 12 to 24 hours). And to this “beef juice,” the standard stew ingredients, including peas, carrots, onions and potatoes, are added, said Bishop. 

Next, a Guinness gravy is made separately and mixed in.

Bishop joked that the dish is definitely “Irish,” as it's made with Guinness, an Irish dry stout, and with meat and potatoes, common ingredients in Irish cuisine.

Though the stew is the only item on the menu with St. Patrick's in its name, the eatery sometimes offers "bangers and mash, with a side of cabbage” on St. Paddy's Day.

“Traditionally, we do make some Irish stuff on St. Patrick's Day. But people seem to want to lean towards the more healthier options, to be honest. So, some of those things don't appeal as much nowadays.”

The St. Patrick’s Stew, however, has stood the test of time for decades, she said. 

Though Bishop joined the restaurant seven years ago, she believes the dish has been on the menu for 30 years.

"I think it was one of the first items to be put on the menu.”

Given its popularity with the customers, it looks like the St. Patrick's Stew will continue to remain there even as many more St. Patrick's Days come and go. 

St. Patrick's Stew is on the menu of Kelly O’Bryan's Restaurant and Carlos O’Bryan’s pub (800 Columbia St.)