Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Irish Stew

Back after hiatus! Stews are historically peasant food found in cultures across the globe but the Irish stew stands out as one of the best for me.

"Irish Stew" is served in Irish Pubs all over New York City but rarely done correctly.
Let's dispel the main myths. Firstly, it's not made with Beef, that is an American adaptation.
It should be made with the tough meat in mutton or lamb. Mutton would have been the cheaper version historically as lamb has a sweeter flavour compared to the complex flavour of mutton.

Anyway, I decided that for my Irish stew I was going to make it the classic way with a few tweaks to impart more flavour.
So with that I give you The Ingredients.


  • 2lbs lamb shank/neck bone in chopped into equal size chunks by butcher
  • 4 sticks celery chopped.
  • bag of baby carrots
  • potatoes, the waxy type so they don't fall apart.
  • 3 onions
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Broth/Stock
  • Irish Butter
  • Oil
  • Brown Irish soda bread
Optional but awesome.
  • Guinness
  • Red Wine
  • Barley
  • garlic
  • Bouquet Garni

Now, fire up a pan with a small bit of oil and start browning that lamb!
Traditionally it would all be thrown in the pot but these days you have to make an effort otherwise will think you're some sort of lazy bum. Which I am, but whatever... Season that meat!

Don't eat this.

Once it's browned stick it to one side, and leave it there! Don't eat it moron you need it.

Grab a big pot or dutch oven or whatever you use for this kind of thing and stick it on some heat.
Chop celery, carrots and onions and throw in pot, it's like you would make a ragu, these three ingredients in a pot are like the three amigos of cooking.

Come girl let me see you break sweat

Usually at this point you want to sweat down those veggies and soften them to make room for MORE STUFF in the stew. Chops the spuds and lash them in there. Then lash in your bouquet garni.

Bouquet Garni is for wankers

Then lash in your meat, and two gloves of mashed garlic.

Don't eat that lamb yet

Now you wanna amp up the flavour, for this I use Guinness and Beef Broth.


And some wine and Tomato Blood.

Aren't I Hilarious?

Ok, just the wine then. Not too much either, this isn't a fucking french dish.
Now keep that shit on a low heat for THREE hours, you hear me? THREE! and skim off the crap at the top every now and then. I like to swear a lot during this portion of the recipe.

Skim that crap.

Three hours, three guinness left. Coincidence? No. Drink them.

Get Merry!

With 30 minutes to go add the barley, which will thicken it up.
And your stew is ready. Remove from the heat and remove the bouquet garni you bum.

You won't care that it looks rubbish, you'll be buzzed.

Taste and season to preference.
Now get yourself some proper thick wedges of Brown bread, I couldn't find Irish so had to use some Italian crap and IRISH BUTTER. No excuses or margarine or any of that stuff.

Hearty and Heart Attacky.

Garnish with Parsley and Serve.
While it was cooking I made an appetiser of Bruchette avec Fromage du Chevre et fig. Because I'm a wanker.



That's some good eating right there. Devour!