From the archives: With much of the nation buried in snow, what better meal to present than a piping hot bowl of great stew. Enjoy!
If there is one food associated with Irish cuisine, it’s the ubiquitous Irish stew. Love it or hate it, it’s Ireland in a dish. Every Irish family has their own distinct recipe and every Irish child will probably tell you that his Mam makes the best Irish stew there ever was, though she would probably say that her Ma made a better one.
Irish stew is also known as stobhach gaelach, which is just Gaelic for “Irish Stew”. The dish was traditionally made with just meat (usually tough meats such as kid), potatoes and onions and if made this way is very bland. More modern versions use varieties of root vegetables and different tough cuts of meat depending on what is available at the time, but potatoes and onions should always be the primary ingredients.
I chose lamb for this stew simply because I adore it, but you can certainly make the dish with beef or pork if that’s what you have available. It will certainly be a lot less expensive than this version, which racks in at well over $16.00 per pot full in my area. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. It was well worth the added expense.
And just so you know, for those following the Weight Watcher’s system; This dish is only 4 points per bowl, so have at it!
- 2 lbs lamb, cut in 1-inch cubes
- 3 large onions
- 3 whole cloves
- 1-12 oz. Irish Ale or stout beer
- 32 oz chicken stock or water
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 9 medium red potatoes
- 3 carrots cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter in olive oil over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. Season lamb and cook in batches, browning the meat well. Remove batches to a separate plate or bowl to rest after browning. When last batch is done, add meat back to stockpot along with any juices that may have collected in the dish.
Add one 12 oz. Irish beer and stir well, making sure to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add stock or water and one onion studded with three whole cloves. Cover tightly and place in oven for two hours.
Remove clove studded onion from pot and discard. Quarter the remaining two onions and slice thinly. Peel and shred two potatoes (this will help thicken the stock) Add thyme, onion powder, onions and shredded potatoes to the stew pot. Stir well and season aggressively with salt and pepper. Cover and return to oven for one hour.
Peel 1/2 of potatoes and leave the peel on the other half. Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 35 to 40 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender.
Serve piping hot.
Share and Enjoy!
What I would have done Differently had I thought of it at the time:
Actually, this is what I would have done differently… I made a pot two nights before that used a recipe from a very old Irish cookbook and used just onions, potatoes, thyme and lamb. I must say that while the lamb was good, the stew itself was lackluster and rather pitiful. It would have been wonderful if I was hungry and freezing after a hard day’s work, but definitely not a show stopper on any other occasion. The recipe above is my take on the original and I’m much happier with it.
Links to other recipes like this: