Bhí sé go blásta!! (vee shay go BLAWS-tuh) – That’s Irish for “It was delicious!!”
Sure’n that’s what you’ll be after sayin’ once ye’ve tried this AUTHENTIC Irish Stew, me darlin’s.
And its not only delicious, if you do it right, its also fun to create! This recipe makes A BUNCH! Seriously, it filled up my roaster pan, which I used like a crock pot. If I had to guess, I’d say it would feed 20 or so – with leftovers!
You can adjust the ingredients up or down according to your need, but don’t skimp on the fresh herbs, or the bone in lamb. In my opinion, that’s what puts this over the top in the flavor department. And throw the herbs in whole. Yes, you’ll have to fish out the twigs and stems at the end, but you’ll also be fishing out the bones from the roast, so I say go for the gusto!
6 to 8 lbs Lamb shank roast – bone in
1 or 2 cups flour
5 potatoes – peeled, cubed
8 carrots – peeled, sliced
3 large onions – diced
10 cloves garlic – minced
1 bunch each – fresh rosemary, thyme, parsley
3 quarts beef broth
32 ounces Guinness Stout in bottles
6 cups cooked barley
Now that you have your ingredients assembled, it will be necessary to do two essential things before you begin…
1. Find Celtic Storm Radio on Pandora. Got it? Now release your inner Riverdancer!
2. Pour yourself a wee drop of Jameson Irish Whiskey – to sustain yourself through the rigors of cooking, right?
3. Cut the meat into large slices, steaks, or chunks small enough for you to brown in a pan. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then dredge in the flour. Brown quickly over high heat in batches, placing the meat in your preheated roaster or large crockpot as they are done. Add your diced onions and sliced carrots to the same pan you browned the meat in, saute until the onions are translucent. You may have to saute the veggies in batches. When the veggies are done, add the Guinness to deglaze the pan stirring to incorporate all of the carmelized meat and veggie bits. Add this mixture to the meat in the roaster, add the potatoes, the whole herbs, the cooked barley, and the broth, to just cover. Put on the lid and turn the heat up to 400 or high and let that stew for about an hour, stirring every time the jig you’re dancin’ brings you past the pot long enough to lift the lid. Turn down the heat to low, or 200 and let it cook overnight, crock pot style, or depending on what time you started this, for 4 more hours.
If you’re really feeling the Irish vibe, (and by this time, I’m sure you are) you might be wondering what to do for the next 4 hours. Well, me bucko, I’ve just the thing! A traditional accompaniment to Irish stew, is Moist Soda Bread, for which I just happen to have the recipe, as well as a way to put that Jameson to another good use!
For this one, don’t leave out the soaked fruit, or the caraway seeds. You’ll see why once you get to the dough stage – it smells HEAVENLY! Also, I have a confession. Though I’ve tried a few times, I haven’t mastered the soda bread thing yet. Either that, or I just haven’t acquired a taste for it. No matter how “moist” the recipe claims to be, I find it dry and crumbly, which according to people I’ve talked to, is quite authentic. But give it a try and see for yourself. What else were you going to do with that 4 hours?
5 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 sticks of butter
2 cups raisins soaked in enough Jameson to cover
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
Stir together the flour, sugar, baking power, salt, caraway seed, and baking soda. Cut in, or mix in the butter until a course grain forms. Add the raisins. Add the eggs and buttermilk. Divide into two buttered and floured loaf pans, bake at 350 for 1 hour. Cool in the pans. Turn out the loaves and wrap in foil until ready to eat with your Irish stew.