In celebration of St Patrick’s Day, I’ve decided to post something which is of Irish origin and probably their most popular dish so far, the Irish stew.
Irish stew is a traditional food of Ireland made from lamb/mutton, potatoes, onions, and parsley. But several variations exist now where barley, carrots, turnips and even stout beer are added. This is then boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours to extract the good flavours out of the meat and bones.
Irish stew is a product of long history and started since after the seventh century BC during the Celtic invasion of Ireland. Since then they started to possess bronze cauldrons for cooking stews. During that time it was the dominant cooking tool in ancient Ireland, hence you see a lot of different stews that originated in there. Then in 16th century, potatoes which is the key ingredient in this dish was introduced from South America and that gave birth to the Irish stew that we know of this time.
1kg lamb chops or neck, cut into chunks
100g pearl barley
4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 medium onions, sliced
3 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
1 litre lamb stock (if you can’t find any, you may use beef stock)
1/3 cup flour
handful of chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
1. Dredge meat in flour then set aside.
2. Place butter in pot then in medium heat brown lamb pieces.
3. Add onions, barley, thyme and bay leaf. Pour the stock then bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes in low heat.
4. Add the carrots and potatoes on top of the stew then continue to simmer for 45 more minutes in low heat.
5. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper