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Monday, 17 March 2008
As it is Saint Patrick's day today what else would we have for dinner but Irish Stew?
Irish stew, "ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" is a filling, flavourful peasant dish traditionally made with mutton potatoes onions and parsley. The Irish raised primarily sheep and root crops for subsistence. The sheep provided wool for warm clothing, milk for drinking and making cheese, and eventually food. Potatoes were the main food crop, prior to the potato famine. Irish stew traditionally a one pot dish like all stews, would have consisted mostly of potatoes. Today more meat and vegetables are added but the basis is still potatoes.
Everyone in Ireland has their own method of making 'Stew'. This is my version. It's not really a recipe but to enable me to share it I have tried to make it so.
Like all stews the flavour improves if left overnight.
When re-heating you may have to add water to stop it from sticking
Approx 1lb/500gms lamb cut into cubes (or beef)
6-8 potatoes cut up into pieces or less whatever your taste.
2 carrots roughly chopped
2 parsnips roughly chopped
1 large leek roughly sliced
2 onions chopped
oil for browning
chicken stock (2or 3 stock cubes)
Dried herbs as desired.
Salt and pepper
Brown Lamb and add onions in a large pot Stir around and add leeks leave a few mins and add about 1/2 pint water and 1 stock cube herbs and Worcester sauce. Leave to simmer until lamb is tender. Add more water as desired.
In another pot boil up potatoes carrot and parsnip in stock. Leave in stock until lamb is cooked.
When lamb is tender add cooked potatoes etc, with stock
Stir all around and keep heat low. The potatoes should be a bit mushy now
Taste and add more stock as desired.
Season to taste
Turn heat off and leave to absorb flavour
Serve with Brown Soda Bread......What else?