Sunday, 11 March 2012

Irish Stew (my version)

As I was away on holiday on St David’s Day I thought I’d share a recipe with you to celebrate my Celtic cousins’ Patron Saint’s day instead – St Patrick’s Day. 

Traditionally Irish Stew contains pearl barley, but I prefer it without so this is my own particular version.  Actually, the purists in Ireland don’t use barley either and the version I had when we were in Ireland (County Mayo) contained only lamb, onion and potato.  I like to add carrot to my version and I’ve given it a little Welsh twist by using leek instead of onion but you could use onion if leek isn’t easily obtainable. 

For two to three people : 

2 lamb leg steaks
1 large or two small leeks
2 medium carrots
2 medium potatoes
1 small sprig of rosemary
1 bayleaf
1tb flour
2 pints of lamb stock
1tb olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste 

Firstly cut the leg steaks into large pieces and fry in the olive oil to brown on all sides.  Remove to a plate as they are browned. 

Slice the leek/s lengthways and rinse well under running water, then cut into slices approximately ½ an inch thick.  Peel the carrots and cut into fairly big pieces and do the same with the potatoes. 

Add a little more oil to the pan if needed, and gently sweat the leek and carrot for 10 minutes.  Return the lamb to the pan and add the tablespoon of flour, stirring well to absorb any juices in the pan.  Slowly add the lamb stock, stirring well to eliminate the risk of lumps forming.  Add the potatoes then season with salt and pepper and add the chopped rosemary and the bayleaf.  Cover and cook on a very low simmer for two hours, or pop it into the oven to cook at 150oC for two hours. 

(150oC = 300oF = gas mark 2)