Traditional Irish Stew

I absolutely love a good Irish Stew - proper comfort food.I still have memories of playing a match as a young boy in the middle of an Irish winter ( October - March !! ) and coming home to a big bowl of steaming hot stew.We would have used mostly the shoulder chops growing up but now tend to use diced leg of lamb as the kids cant be dealing with bones and cartlidge ( Snowflakes !! ).Traditionaly Mutton was the dominant ingredient because the economic importance of sheep lay in their wool and milk produce and this ensured that only old or economically non-viable animals ended up in the cooking pot, where they needed hours of slow cooking. Irish stew is the product of a culinary tradition that relied almost exclusively on cooking over an open fire. It seems that Irish stew was recognised as early as about 1800 which as we know are far from the Celtic Tiger days of Ireland.Below are the ingredients and recipe we now use at home.
  • 1 kg leg of diced lamb 
  • 1 tbsp of oil or butter
  • 800 grams Maris piper potatoes washed, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 rooster potato peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 4 large carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 litre Lamb stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh curly parsley, plus more for garnishing
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius
  2. Heat the oil in a large oven prof deep sauce pan, add the lamb and brown the meat on all sides, don’t have to fully cook it. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and sauté for few mins until translucent, add the celery, carrots, potatoes and fry for 3 to 4 mins.
  4. Add the meat, bay leaves, stock, parsley, season with salt and pepper. Cover and place in the oven for 1 hour 30 mins until the lamb is nice and soft.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley, Serve warm with brown Soda bread. Enjoy!

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