Starting to feel a bit of fall chill in the air here in Ireland so what better time to make stew. The first recipe is my own, but please take lots of liberty to change it up.
CLASSIC IRISH LAMB STEW
1 quart lamb stock (or combination of Chicken, Lamb or Vegetable stock)
1 1/2 lb. Lamb shoulder, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup uncooked barley
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup flour for coating lamb
2 Tbsp. Oil for Browning lamb (or use 1 Tbsp. Fat skimmed off the top of your stock and 1 Tbsp. Oil)
Sprig of sage
A few stems of fresh thyme
Salt/pepper to taste
Parsley to garnish
|I happened to have a huge bowl of lamb
stock all made. Look how gelatinous it is!
Place lamb chunks I’m a large plastic zip-lock bag. Very liberally salt/pepper–at least a tsp. Salt and 1/2 tsp. Pepper. Add flour and shake to coat.
In a large soup pot, heat oil (or fat) until bubbling. Drop in lamb and gently stir to brown all sides–about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add 1 quart stock and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce to simmer and add carrots, parsnip and celery. Add sage and thyme. Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in 1 cup barley, cover and simmer another 30 minutes.
The stew will thicken as it cooks. Check to make sure veg is tender. Barley should be tender, but still have a little chewiness. Also check tenderness of lamb. Shoulder can be a little tougb, but has wonderful flavor. Remove stew from heat and add the cup of peas. I like to make stew the day before serving to really bring flavors together, but you can also eat it immediately!
NEXT, AN UPDATED CONTEMPORARY VERSION…
SWEET POTATO, WHITE BEAN
AND LAMB STEW
This recipe comes from my new Irish cookbook, Wild Atlantic Way. I had made a batch of cannellini beans on the weekend and also had more stock on hand so this stew went together very quickly.
1 kg (that’s about 2 lbs.) Lamb shoulder, cut into bite sized pieces
10 g plain flour (1/8 cup)
Salt/freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
120 ml (1/2 cup) dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc–I used 1 cup
500 ml (2 cups) chicken or veg stock (I used 3 cups half lamb/half chicken stock)
1 cinnamon stick (I didn’t have whole cinnamon so used 1 scant tsp.)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1 400g (that’s about 1 1/2 cups) tin canellini beans, drained and rinsed
To serve: Bread crumbs, crusty bread with creamer butter (I made big toasted croutons and garnished with a little chopped, fresh parsley.)
In a plastic bag, toss together the lamb and flour until meat is well coated. Season with salt/pepper. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-high heat and saute the onions and garlic until garlic is aromatic. Add the lamb and sear until it is golden brown on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot.
NEXT, add the stock, cinnamon, and sweet potato and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let the stew bubble away. Add the beans after 20 minutes, then allow the meat and sweet potato to simmer until they are tender, for about a further 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and serve with crusty bread slathered with creamer butter.
Both the sweet potato and cinnamon give this soup an exotic sweet flavor.
I prefer to make my own beans. Simple, quick and much better texture and flavor than canned. Rinse the dried beans well and check for stones. Bring a quart of Chicken or veg broth to boil. If you are using a very flavorfull well-seasoned broth, no need to add anything else. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook beans until just barley tender, about 1 hour. Cooking time depends on age and size of the bean.
I made a WHITE BEAN, CARAMELIZED ONION AND BLACK PUDDING dish with some of the cannellini beans. This would also be excellent with grilled and sliced Italian sausage, if you don’t have blood pudding in the fridge! 😊
I also cooked 1 cup of the cannellini’s until very tender, then mashed with a fork, added 1 clove minced garlic, lots of freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme, a dash of smoked paprika, squeeze of fresh lemon juice and drizzle of olive oil. Place into a small serving bowl, top with a little more olive oil, lemon zest and chunky sea salt (such as Maldon) and serve with crackers, small toasted breads or veg. Delicious bean dip!
THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
PLEASE JOIN ME AGAIN
FOR MORE FUN IN THE KITCHEN!
|Me and my hubby in Copenhagen enjoying a canal cruise.
The Regal Princess showed us a fantastic 11-day
adventure throughout the beautiful Baltic!