Friday, March 26, 2010

Irish Lamb Stew

Dear friends, we have come to the last day of Irish week and will resume regular posting come Monday. For my final post I've saved one of the main courses, traditional Irish stew. We also had corned beef and cabbage of course, but I can explain the makings of that in about 30 seconds. If you need it, give me a call. Irish stew, however, is more of an evening event that, while its not difficult, takes some time. For this recipe I chose to use lamb since it's the traditional choice and some of our friends don't eat beef. Beef is cheaper and more readily available, so feel free to substitute that if you like. I also think this recipe would be awesome with some herby or cheesy dumplings cooked on top!

Irish Lamb Stew

2 lbs. lamb shoulder
½ cup of flour
salt and pepper to taste
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 bottle of Guinness Draught
2 cups of red wine
10 cups of beef stock
4 Tbsp. dried thyme
5 bay leaves
4 Tbsp. ketchup
6-7 medium sized red potatoes
6 large carrots, peeled
2 yellow onions, peeled
4 Tbsp. butter
2 large handfuls of chopped parsley

Chop lamb into bit sized pieces, removing any tough bits. In a bowl mix the flour, 1 Tbsp. of thyme and salt and pepper until well combined. Add the lamb to the flour mixture and stir to coat it. Heat the oil on medium-high heat in a large stock pot then add the meat. Cook the meat for several minutes on each side until all sides are nice and brown.

Once your meat is well browned, add the Guinness, red wine, beef stock, remaining thyme, bay leaves and ketchup to your pot. Stir well, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and place a lid on the pot. Let simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

While your pot is simmering, chop your potatoes and carrots into bite sized pieces, and finely chop the onion. In a separate pot from the meat, melt the butter on medium-high heat and add the potatoes, carrots and onion. Cook the veggies for about twenty minutes, stirring every few minutes. Try to time it so your veggies are done at the same time that your stew is done simmering (but remember its stew not rocket science, going a little over on the simmering time won’t hurt anything).

Once the veggies are done, add them to the stew pot. Simmer the ingredients together for another 20 minutes to combine the flavors. Ladle the stew into bowls and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

This dish is really better eaten the next day, so make this up the night before and just reheat before serving. If this is more stew than you think your family can eat, the recipe is easily cut in half, or freeze the extra portion to have as a quick dinner for another day. The original recipe I based this one on came from a beef Irish stew recipe from dianasaura dishes.

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