Not Quite Irish Stew

Well it has to be Not Quite Irish Stew because I am neither Irish nor have I ever been to Ireland.

Well I was nearly there one time because my parents took us on a day trip on the ferry to Larne but we never got off it. Then I did work in a part of England where I served a lot of customers of Irish descent but that still doesnt make me Irish.

So it has to be a Not Quite Irish Stew.

This takes a bit of time to cook but results in a very filling meal. Mutton needs more cooking than Lamb so use the longer cooking times if using that.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb Mutton or Lamb
  • 3-4 medium-sized Potatoes
  • 2 large Carrots
  • 2 Medium Onions
  • 2 large Leeks
  • 1 small Swede/Turnip
  • (optional) 1 large Parsnip
  • 1 litre/4 cups Stock
  • Butter or Olive Spread
  • Seasoned Plain/All-Purpose Flour
  • Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper

Method

  1. Peel and chop the onions.
  2. Trim the root from the leeks, remove the tough outer layer then slice the white part into rings.
  3. Dice the mutton or lamb into bite-sized chunks then toss in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  4. Melt the butter or olive spread in a heavy based pan or dutch oven over a medium heat. Add in the leeks and onions stirring well. Fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add the floured lamb or mutton to the pan. A little extra flour will result in a thicker stew but avoid adding too much. Stir frequently so that the meat becomes evenly browned.
  6. Once the meat has browned, add in sufficient stock to cover. Lamb stock is preferable but use vegetable or chicken if that is unavailable. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30-45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add extra stock or water if needed.
  7. Prepare the remaining vegetables. Slice the potatoes thickly without peeling. The carrots may need peeling if the skin has gone dry but I generally just slice them. Turnip needs the skin to come off and the easiest way I found is to cut slices then use a big knife to remove the skin because peeling it is hard work. Parsnip will add a slight sweetness to the stew but is one vegetable that I will always peel.
  8. Add the vegetables to the pan with the meat, leek and onions. Pour in sufficient stock to cover then stir to combine. Bring back to the boil before reducing the heat to low then cover and simmer gently for 60-90 minutes.
  9. Stir the pan occasionally and add extra stock or water if your Irish Stew is becoming too dry.
  10. Cooking time is up when the potatoes are beginning to show signs of crumbling at the edges. At this point just add in some salt and pepper to taste then stir well to combine.
  11. Serve in large bowls with a plate of warmed bread in the middle of the table. Try our Rustic Bread or, for a more authentic Irish Stew, serve with Irish Soda Bread.

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