Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Tonight we’re celebrating not with corned beef and cabbage, but Irish Stew. Now don’t get me wrong, I love corned beef and cabbage, but to be honest, I prefer Irish stew for sentimental reasons. My grandparents, who were from Belfast, never had corned beef and cabbage growing up. It wasn’t until they came to America that they had corned beef and cabbage. According to this New York Times article, corned beef and cabbage is definitely more of an American tradition than Irish.
In any event, here is my version of Irish Stew. It was inspired by Nanny’s, with a little help from Darina Allen in terms of quantities. This dish can be served on any cold night; there is no need to wait for St. Patrick’s Day!
“May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
Quick to make friends.
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing
From this day forward.”
2 pounds lamb stew meat
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/3” thick
1 pound onion, peeled and sliced ½” thick
4-5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1” chunks
salt and freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
In a large dutch oven, layer the meat and vegetables beginning with the lamb, followed by the potatoes, carrots, and onions. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Follow with another layer of meat, potatoes, carrots and onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add any remaining meat, carrots and onions and finish with a layer of potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill dutch oven 2/3 of the way full with water. Add thyme and cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and reduce to a simmer. Keep covered and simmer for 1-2 hours or until meat is tender.
Just before serving, stir in fresh parsley. Serve hot with freshly baked soda bread.