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Old 03-17-2005, 09:29 AM   #1
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Irish stew

In honour of St Patrick's Day, here's a really great, authentic recipe for Irish stew from Darina Allen's book, Ballymaloe Cooking School Cookbook.



Ingredients:
  • 3 pounds lamb chops not less than 1-inch thick
  • 6 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 8-12 potatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chives, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Cut the lamb chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set the lamb aside. In a heavy bottomed pan, cook the fat trimmings to render liquid fat. Discard the remaining pieces.

Toss the lamb chops in the hot liquid fat and cook until slightly brown on both sides. Remove the lamb chops and reserve. Toss the chopped onions and carrots in the fat. Build the meat, carrots and onions up in layers in a casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Using the stock, deglaze the pan the meat was cooked in, and pour the liquid into the casserole dish. Peel the potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and lay them whole on top of the stew they will steam as the stew cooks. Add the sprig of thyme, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover and put in the oven until stew is cooked, 1 to 2 hours.

When ready, pour the cooking liquid out of the stew. Transfer the meat and the vegetables to a clean pan. Skim the grease out of the cooking liquid, and pour the remaining cooking liquid over the stew. Sprinkle with the parsley and chives to garnish. Serve immediately.

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Old 03-17-2005, 09:31 AM   #2
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i think i have one that uses guiness. anybody want it?
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:33 AM   #3
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sounds more like a casserole than a stew. I would add quartered potatoes to the gravy after one hour, then add the thyme and cook for another hour.
Why add veg stock when the stew already contains the same ingredients (except celery, perhaps)?

did ya ever eat colcannon
when t'was made with yellow cream
and the kale and praties blended
like the picture in a dream?

cheers
Waaza
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Old 03-17-2005, 10:53 AM   #4
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I've just posted the Ballymaloe recipe - If Darina Allen says it's Irish 'Stew' - then it's good enough for me.
Presumably the stock is to intensify the flavours? All I know is that it's a tasty, winter dinner recipe.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:13 AM   #5
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Smile

I feel kind of dumb, but I have to ask this: how do you cut a lamb chop in half? What kind of chops are usually used?

The stew looks great, I'd like to try it.
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Old 03-18-2005, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lyndalou
I feel kind of dumb, but I have to ask this: how do you cut a lamb chop in half? What kind of chops are usually used?

The stew looks great, I'd like to try it.
I use meat cleaver to cut through the bone - you end up with a 'thick' part and a 'thin' part! Or sometimes I use leg steaks.
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Old 03-19-2005, 11:15 PM   #7
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waaza, my understanding of the difference between a stew and casserole is; a stew is done on the stove top and a casserole is cooked wholly in the oven. As the Irish stew recipe here is primarily done on the stove top, I would lean more towards it being a stew. IMHO
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Old 03-20-2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussie girl
waaza, my understanding of the difference between a stew and casserole is; a stew is done on the stove top and a casserole is cooked wholly in the oven. As the Irish stew recipe here is primarily done on the stove top, I would lean more towards it being a stew. IMHO
I have a differnt view. To me, a stew is something (usually with meat and veg) cooked in plenty of liquid at a simmer in an open pot. A casserole can have much less water and quite a lot of fat, and is cooked in a slack oven, with a lid to reduce water loss. That is why I thought the recipe given was more like a casserole than a stew.

I have re-read the method given, and would say that by far the most cooking is in a covered pan in the oven, hence casserole. I'll ask my Irish friend her opinion, she used to run the biggest kitchens in Ireland, she'll know.

Cheers
Waaza
of course, if you take the lid off, you have Lancashire hotpot. Difficult, init? :p
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Old 03-20-2005, 10:28 PM   #9
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Hi waaza, I have to dissagree again. Both stews and casseroles can have both meat and vegetables. As for the amount of fat, that is a personal choice, and not an integral part of any casserole/stew that I know of.

Perhaps you need to re-re-read the method given, as its not until the end of the 3rd paragraph, the the dish is placed in the oven.

As to further my point in my previous post, I googled casserole/stew and found the following from this site:http://www.deliaonline.com/ingredien...0000001407.asp

Quoting - "We tend to lump together all recipes that are cooked in a pot, and call them casseroles. But strictly speaking, there is a difference. Stewing is done on top of a cooker with heat being applied directly to the underneath of the pot, while casseroling takes place inside the oven, with heat circulating all around the pot. In both cases the meat is cut up fairly small, and cooked in a liquid (stock, wine, water, cider or whatever)" end quote

I also need to add that this recipe has traditionally been called 'Irish Stew' for many years, possibly hundreds. It was posted here in honour of St. Patricks Day. In keeping with that tradition, and celebrating with our fellow Irish people, I trust it will be continued to be called 'Irish Stew'.
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Old 03-21-2005, 03:38 AM   #10
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Goodness
Waaza sems to have got his/her knickers in a twist about stew....

All I did was post a recipe, from a book by a woman who is acknowledged to run one of THE best cookery schools in Ireland. Mrs Allen is IRISH - in my book that means she can call the dish what she likes!
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