With my connection to Ireland it is only right that one of the first recipes on this blog is of the most famous of Irish dishes – outside of Ireland at least. Irish stew is a wonderful dish containing stewed lamb, carrots, onion and potatoes. It is simple food, when it is best, and although it takes a while to transform the raw ingredients into a meltingly tender stew, there really isn’t much work to it. When the diced lamb has been browned, the vegetables peeled and sauteed and it all has been put in one big ovenproof pot with the stock, you just leave it in the oven for a couple of hours and the result is the most wonderful, wholesome food you can imagine.
As I am going back to Denmark soon for a couple of months, I had promised to fill up the freezer with delicious food, and Irish stew was one of the recipes that popped into my mind after a short brain storm. Just like Irish stew, most of the dishes that I regularly cook and which freeze well often belong to the ‘autumn and winter food’ category, so I ended up cooking this dish, and a big pot of chili (recipe will be posted soon), on what turned out to be one of the nicest summer days I have yet experienced this summer on the Emerald Isle.
This recipe feeds about 4 hungry adults.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 500 g shallots, peeled
- 2 – 3 carrots, chopped into chunks
- 1.3 kg diced lamb
- 2 bay leaves
- a few sprigs of thyme
- salt and pepper
- 900 ml lamb stock
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1.5 kg potatoes, peeled and quarted
- a few sprigs of parsley, chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 180/C or 160/C fan.
Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof pot. Saute the onion and carrots for a couple of minutes then set aside. In the same pot, brown the meat (in batches if necessary) and set aside. Now layer the meat and vegetables in the pot with the thyme and bayleaves and make sure to season with salt and pepper between each layer. Mix the stock with the worcestershire sauce and add it to the pot. Put the potatoes on the top of the dish, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
When the dish is cooked you can set aside the meat, vegetables and potatoes and skim the remaining juices for fat. Season and pour over the vegetables, meat and potatoes, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.