Irish Stew

St. Patrick’s day is on the 17th of March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland. Irish stew is another one of the dishes that my Mum would often make, and what better day to make it on.

It is surprisingly filling and delicious considering the simplicity of the ingredients. It’s a meat and vegetable based stew that is native to Ireland, and as with many traditional dishes, there is no one true way to make it. Traditionally it would have been slow cooked over an open fire for a couple of hours, probably in a cauldron of sorts. Irish stew has been recognized as a dish since the 1800s, but would have been around for much longer. Though potatoes weren’t introduced to Ireland until after the 16th century, from South America.

My mum always made it with peas, carrots, potatoes and onions, and I generally follow suit. It’s also a great way to use things up in your fridge. She also used oats, though I’m not sure that this is very common.

irish stew

Ingredients – serves 4

400-500g diced lamb
1 tbsp. butter or oil
2 onions
3-4 medium carrots
3-4 medium potatoes
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup oats
1 cup lamb or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper

Worcestershire sauce, to serve.

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

Peel and chop the onions, carrots and potatoes into large chunks. Heat the butter or oil in a frying pan, and once hot, sear the lamb pieces for a couple of minute on each side, until they are golden. Remove the lamb and place into an oven-proof dish.

In the same frying pan, sauté the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for a few minutes until they stick to the pan slightly. Add the lamb stock to the pan and stir well. Toss the vegetables and stock into the dish with the lamb.

Add the frozen peas and the oats, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover everything, then pop the lid on and place the stew into the oven. Cook for 30 minutes covered, then uncover for 10 minutes to allow the stew to thicken.

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Serve in a bowl with a generous dash of Worcestershire sauce, and enjoy a hearty dinner with friends and family.

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