Golden Poppies our State Wildflower

Thursday, February 6, 2014

IRISH STEW.. A great recipe for an old classic

There are many variations for this classic stew.
I am using the old "Crofter's" Recipe where it is cooked in one pot in the oven..thereby warming the whole house..it would have been made in an oven that was alongside the peat fire in the main room of the house, and cooked all day.
Also they did not brown the meat before adding to the casserole, all the vegetables and meat is place in layers and then topped with a good meat stock, (and Guinness stout) similar to Lancashire Hot Pot.
Also it would have been made with the neck of lamb or mutton, but I am bowing to pressure (also that cut is hard to find in Los Angeles) and using either boned out shoulder or leg of lamb.

This is ideal for St Patrick's Day, March 17th
This recipe easily serves 4 main courses..another one pot meal

2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8inch slices
2 pounds  boneless leg or shoulder of lamb, fat trimmed, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups  1/8 inch sliced onions
2 cups 1/4 inch sliced carrots
2 cups shredded Savoy Cabbage ( or white cabbage)
1 cup thinly sliced celery
Sea salt & ground white pepper
either fresh thyme sprigs or 2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup minced parsley
3 cups lamb or beef stock  ( use bones form lamb to make stock)
1 cup Guinness Stout (optional)

Preheat oven 325F middle shelf

in a deep, greased, ovenproof casserole dish..layer:
potatoes, lamb, onions, carrots, cabbage & celery, and finish with a layer of potatoes (overlapping).
Season each layer with white pepper, salt, thyme sprigs and parsley.

very carefully, pour the lamb stock ( and stout if using) along one side of the casserole, without disturbing the layer of potatoes, until just covered, or up to layer of potatoes on top.
Do not cover, place on a heavy cookie sheet and bake for 1 1/2 - 2 hours..the top potatoes should get golden brown.
Using a sharp knife carefully check tenderness of meat, by carefully cutting through layers; when fully cooked,
remove from oven.
With a soup or sauce ladle remove any excess fat form surface of stew and garnish with parsley leaves. Wait 15 mins for contents to settle and serve in warmed soup plates.

If you prefer a darker colored gravy, by all means, brown the meat before layering, in a little hot oil.

Serve with glasses of beer and or Guinness.

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