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Monday, February 11, 2008

Lamb Irish Stew with Guinness

This Irish Stew with Lamb and Guinness Stout is so rich and wonderful. It warms you to your toes and then some. My recipe is one handed down from one person to another and so on. I have seen it on-line and in cookbooks so I don't claim it as an original, but I do defy you to find a better supper dish for a cold Saint Patrick's Day.

3 pounds lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
1/2 cup flour
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" slices
2 large yellow onions, cut into large dice
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 quarts lamb or beef stock, or as needed
12 ounces Guinness stout
1 cup pearl barley (optional)
2 teaspoons corn starch
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For a real Irish country touch, include the barley -- cook it for 20 minutes in 3 cups of lamb or beef stock, then add when you return the meat to pot with the vegetables.

Cut off some of the parsley leaves and chop enough to make 2 tablespoons; reserve. Cut off some parsley stems, and tie them into a bundle with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme; reserve.
Toss the meat in some flour, shaking off the excess. Season with salt and brown the meat in a little oil in a large dutch oven. Do not use a non-stick pan. Remove and reserve. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté, tossing to coat with the fat. Add the Guinness and deglaze, scraping up any caramelized meat juices. Add the potatoes, return the meat to the pot (and the barley if you're using it). Add enough stock to cover the barely, cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat to very low and simmer 2 - 3 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Check seasonings, add salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat, stir in parsley and the cornstarch if needed(mixed into 4 teaspoons water) and stir. Cook over low heat for a few more minutes to thicken. Serve with plenty of Irish brown or white soda bread, tea and more Guinness if you like.
YIELD: 6 generous servings


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Irish Cabbage

slices of Irish bacon, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 medium head cabbage, cored and cut into wedges or shredded
1 stick of Irish butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

water
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place cabbage into a steamer above the water until tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook bacon and onion until crisp and carmelized in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drain and set aside. Drain cabbage, and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with bacon, fried onion and nutmeg. Place cabbage under a broiler for 5 minutes until edges just turn brown. Serve in place of a salad or on the side of the stew with Irish Soda Bread.