Irish Stew

I roasted a shoulder of lamb recently and got it together to make an excellent stock from the bones, which I then put in the freezer for later use. Lamb stock has quite a strong flavour and is not as “all-purpose” as chicken or beef stock; it is generally used only in lamb dishes. The stock is well worth the effort and you can use it as a base for a delicious Irish stew.

Irish stew is the perfect example of how good quality ingredients can taste amazing when cooked very simply. Lamb, vegetables and a good stock can produce a magical flavour. Some purists might baulk at the idea of putting carrots and thyme in an Irish stew but they give a great flavour. Give it a try.

Irish Stew

Ingredients

  • 8 small lamb chops ( I used loin chops, you could use neck or gigot)
  • 6 medium sized potatoes, halved
  • 3 sticks celery, quartered
  • 3 large carrots, quartered
  • 750 ml lamb or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp pearl barley
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Trim the excess fat from the chops. You can leave the chops whole, but I like to cut each chop into large pieces.
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a large cast-iron casserole or pot, then top up with water to just cover the meat and veggies. Season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Cover the casserole, bring to a gentle simmer and leave for 1.5 – 2 hours. Check the seasoning and add some chopped fresh parsley.

Serves 4.

Irish Stew

Leftovers

If treated right, leftovers can be more impressive than the original meal. To the leftovers of this stew I added 500ml of hot vegetable stock and whizzed with a stick blender. I added some frozen peas, broad beans and some chopped flat-leaf parsley. The results were absolutely wicked.


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