Today is a very special day for everyone feeling remotely connected to Ireland. It’s St Patrick’s Day, the person who has brought Christianity to the devoutly Catholic green island back in the day. So don your green clothes (or be poked), plurge on the guiness and delight in traditional Irish cuisine brought to you by Keri from Ladies what… travel. Enjoy
On a chilly winter’s evening, nothing’s better than a good old-fashioned stew, and of all of those I’ve tried the most delicious has to be Irish Stew. Maybe it’s the naughty fattiness of the lamb, but there’s something about this that’s just so moorish!
Spring may be on our doorstep, but a great way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day has to be with a tasty Irish Stew, so before it’s all salads and healthy eating ready for summer bikini season, why not get the fire going and have a bowl of this delicious warming meal.
What You Need for 4 Serves
125g streaky bacon or pancetta
500g stewing lamb
2 garlic cloves
4-5 medium potatoes
vegetables – it’s really up to you what veg to pop into your stew, but I’d recommend any of the following: carrot, swede, sweet potato or turnip.
75g pearl barley
600g lamb stock (chuck in a couple of extra stock cubes if you like your ‘gravy’ strong
pinch of thyme
pinch of parsley
2 bay leaves
Here’s How to
Pop some oil in a frying pan and cook the bacon, throw in the lamb to brown and then set the meat aside.
Chop up all your vegetables and make up your stock.
This is where things differ! I prefer to cook my stew in a slow cooker – if you’re in the this club you now simply pop all the ingredients into the pot apart from the pearl barley. Pop it on a low heat and leave for 7 hours. Then add the pearl barley, change the setting to high and cook for another hour, until the pearl barley is soft.
If you want a quicker stew, instead of using a frying pan brown your meat in a flame proof casserole dish, while heating the oven up to 160 degrees. Take out the meat and pop in the veg (minus potatoes), cooking until soft. Return the meat, add the pearl barley, pour in the stock and simmer.
Lastly add the potatoes, put on the lid and cook the casserole in the oven for around an hour and a half, or for when the potatoes have soften and the meat is tender.
Get yourself a big spoon, scoop into a bowl and enjoy!
Now over to you! Will go try your hand at a proper stew? Will you celebrate St Patrick’s? And don’t forget to wear something green, otherwise people can (and will) poke you!