Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making Tuesday Tasty-Traditional Irish Stew

In a few days it will be St. Patrick's day.  And with the festivities, comes the preparation and sharing of traditional Irish fare.  As in many countries, this traditional stew is meant to be shared.  If a lamb is killed, usually the meat is shared with neighbors.  Here is a take on a traditional stew.  If you don't like lamb, by all means, use a different meat.  I would venture to say that elk or venison might be lovely in this.  


  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • Oil, for frying
  • 1-ounce butter
  • 1 sprig dried thyme
  • 2 1/2 pounds best end of lamb neck, cut into large pieces
  • 7 carrots, chopped lengthways into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons pearl barley
  • 5 cups chicken stock, recipe follows
  • Salt (recommended: Fleur du Sel)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)
  • 12 medium potatoes
  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped
  • 1 bunch chives
  • Serving suggestion: herb butter, recipe follows


In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the onions in oil and butter, on medium-high heat until they are translucent. Add the dried thyme and stir. Add the lamb and brown on a high heat to seal in juices. Add carrots, and pearl barley. Pour in the chicken stock so that it almost covers the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and add Bouquet garni. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, being careful not to boil. Place potatoes on top of the stew, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the meat is falling beautifully off the bones and the potatoes are fork tender.
Serve the stew in large flat soup bowls, and drizzle herb butter over the potatoes or garnish with parsley and chives.
Herb Butter:
1 stick butter
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme

Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add parsley, chives and thyme.

*recipe courtesy of foodnetwork.com*