A filling peasant Irish dish, made with very simple and cheap ingredients…
Still under the influence of my trip to Belfast, I’m obsessing over everything that’s Irish (Everything and everyone who’s Irish actually!). In February this year, a friend and I spent 4 days in Northern Ireland. Regardless to the fact that our trip was really short, we still got to see a lot and fell in love with the place and the people. I never thought that Irish people were so friendly, and their accent is just so beautiful.
The food was also amazing, we have tried different restaurants, pubs, and food markets. We’ve tried the soups, the stews, soda breads and of course the Irish champ! Since both my friend and I are huge fans of mashed potatoes, we were in our Irish heaven!
So now that we’re back, and with Easter coming soon. I’ve decided to recreate Ireland’s national dish – traditional Irish lamb stew. We seem to cook lamb dishes a lot around Easter time, so it was the perfect excuse for me to recreate this dish at home. However, I made a few changes so this isn’t exactly the traditional lamb stew recipe, but it is very delicious I promise you. Purists say that traditional Irish stew is made with either lamb or mutton, potatoes and onions ONLY. While some people like to add different root vegetables like parsnips or turnips. I’ve added carrots and celery and cooked everything in Guinness beer. I’ve also added garlic for a nutty flavour but that is also optional. Some people like to add bacon but I’ve decided to omit the bacon, it is also very important to note that this stew should be thick and hearty.
I love stews in general, I grew up having different kinds of Russian stews usually served with mashed potatoes or rice on the side. So when I’ve first seen this dish in Belfast, I knew that this was my kind of food and that I was going to love it!
Reading more about the Irish stew, it seems that Irish stew was recognised as early as about 1800 . It is served all over Ireland during St Patrick’s day, but I find this to be too good to only make an appearance for a few days a year! It is usually served with creamy mashed potatoes, or even just a wedge of Irish soda bread on the side!
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 500 grams (17.5 oz) lamb (cubed/no bone)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 garlic clove (minced) (optional)
- 1 tbsp all purpose flour
- ½ can (175ml) dark beer (preferably Guinness)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup (235 ml) water
- 1 cube beef stock
- 1 carrot (peeled and sliced) (optional)
- 1 celery stalk (sliced) (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of thyme
- salt and ground black pepper
- In a pot, heat oil and brown the lamb cubes. Remove lamb into plate.
- In the same pot, add onion, garlic and cook until onion becomes translucent and garlic is fragrant (a couple of minutes).
- Add flour, cook for 30 seconds while stirring regularly. Then add the beer, mix very well and add the rest of the ingredients to the pot.
- Cover with a lid, bring to a simmer and lower the heat. Cook for around 50 minutes or until the lamb becomes soft that it falls apart when you touch it, and sauce is slightly thickened.
- Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig. Season with ground black pepper and salt to taste, and serve with mashed potatoes or soda bread.
- To cook in a slow cooker, after browning the meat, adding the flour to the onion and garlic. Transfer to the slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.