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23-01-2008, 16:39   #1
Polythene Pam
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Proper Irish Stew

Hi can anyone give me a plain simple receipe for proper irish stew?
(I can trade with a plain simple receipe for proper italian pizza..)

Thanks
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23-01-2008, 16:45   #2
ibh
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stew recipe (it's beef stew as i prefer it to lamb)

steak pieces
onion
carrots
potatoes
stock which can be either home made or from a stock cube'
garlic

method
chop onion finely
fry till golden along with clove of garlic.lift out on to a plate. meant to say that i use olive oil to fry off.
add some more oil & fry off the meat turning so that its golden both sides.
lift out meat to a plate & to the pan add some stock thicken with flour so that you now have the juice for the stew.
peel the spuds & carrots
add all the ingreds into a saucepan or casserole dish & cook for about hour and half. dont forget salt & pepper.

remember to cook gently, as a STEW BOILED IS A STEW SPOILED.
put all the ingredients into a saucepan or casserole dish.

easy!!

Now lets see that pizza recipie..!
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26-01-2008, 11:48   #3
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Recipe is fine but if the OP is looking for 'proper' Irish stew as in the thread title then youd have to use mutton rather than beef
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28-01-2008, 00:06   #4
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I make mine as a slow-cook dish in the oven. I find using lamb in an irish stew can really dry the meat out, but mutton can be difficult to get. This way the meat stays tender and the whole dish is tasty.

I use gigot lamb chops, bone-in, if I can get them, or any reasonably fatty lamb chops with the bone still in. Gigot chops are cross cuts of a lamb shoulder. Neck of lamb is fatty enough for this, but I find anything with bone-in makes it far, far sweeter.

I judge amounts on a serving basis, allowing two gigot chops per person and one for the pot (or two for the pot if I'm serving five people or more, so for four people, I use nine chops).

I also allow one large onion between two people, three carrots, four potatoes and two sticks of celery. I don't use barley any more - I love it, but jesus it just seems to make everyone fart for two days after eating the stew.

Assume stew for four people. You'll need nine large chops, two large or three medium onions, eight large potatoes, six carrots, four sticks of celery, about two tablespoons of plain flour, pepper and salt, some stock if you have some and fresh herbs - parsley and thyme are the best with rosemary also excellent.

You'll need a non-stick pan and a pot that can go in the oven or a casserole dish.

Season the flour heavily with pepper and salt, and dip each chop in flour. Shake off the excess. In the non stick pan, add a little flavourless oil, and brown the chops one by one, then set aside. There should be a little oil in the pan and some of the juices of the chops - add the remaining flour to this pan and allow it to soak up the juices, then add your stock to it gradually, so it doesn't go lumpy, and allow your stock to heat while you do the rest of the preparation. If you have lamb stock, excellent, use the lamb stock. If you don't have lamb stock, my personal preference would be to use vegetable stock, or half chicken stock and half water, but I wouldn't use beef stock because I find it too strongly flavoured and think it drowns out the lamb flavour.

Prepare the vegetables - the onions should be in large chunks, the carrots in rounds and the celery in slices. With the potatoes, peel them and then slice them into rounds around a half an inch thick.

Now the construction - on the bottom of the dish for the oven, layer three chops. Then cover the chops with a mixture of the chopped onion, carrot rounds and celery pieces. Now layer the sliced potatoes over the other vegetables. Season the potatoes well with pepper and salt. Now add some herbs - I like to layer a couple of sprigs of parsley, sprigs of thyme and two stalks of rosemary. Now start layering again - three more chops, more veg, more potatoes, seasoning, more herbs, and then the last layer of three chops and veg and potatoes and seasoning. Then top with herbs.

(It's worth noting that some people don't fancy pulling thyme stalks out of their dinner, so if you want, prechop the herbs and add them in chopped handfuls bewteen the layers, but make sure you don't chop up any woody bits.)

I then pour the hot stock over the layers until I'm just at the level of the top layer of potatoes - not quite covering them, but not shy of them.

Then put a lid on the pot and put it in the oven at around 160 degrees for a couple of hours. You want this to cook long and slow, so depending on your own oven you may even reduce the heat further. I usually cook mine on gas mark three for two hours in a le creuset pot, so the cast iron of the pot affects the cooking time too.

The resulting stew will be thick and delicious, the meat will still be tender and juicy. The whole thing will be bloody hot though, so be prepared to ladle it out into bowls and sit there salivating over it and waiting for it to cool for ten frustrating minutes.
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28-01-2008, 01:12   #5
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MAJD, that recipe sounds absolutely delish and I might actually give it a bash but it does sounds quite cheffy. I've never heard of lamb chops in a stew before. Do many other people do this?

My mother and her mother before and her mother....you get the picture.....always used beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, thyme, parsley and and stock all in a pot and simmer for a few hours. And tbh, that's the way anybody else I know does it too (with maybe slight variations, barley, mince etc.)
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28-01-2008, 01:37   #6
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Electric slow cookers are great fro doing stew......very very slowly
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28-01-2008, 03:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaZmO* View Post
MAJD, that recipe sounds absolutely delish and I might actually give it a bash but it does sounds quite cheffy. I've never heard of lamb chops in a stew before. Do many other people do this?

My mother and her mother before and her mother....you get the picture.....always used beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, thyme, parsley and and stock all in a pot and simmer for a few hours. And tbh, that's the way anybody else I know does it too (with maybe slight variations, barley, mince etc.)
BazMo, I don't know what you're getting at tbh.

First, beef stew isn't Irish stew. Irish stew is a sheep-based stew - so lamb or hogget or mutton.

Second, boiling meat on the hob for a few hours is a surefire way to make it tough as boot leather. If you want to turn tough cuts tender, never let them boil. Keep the cooking low and slow. My recipe has lamb instead of beef, but has potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, thyme, parsley - all the ingredients you've indicated.

And I'm not talking about using lamb cutlets:



I'm talking about something like lamb forequarter chops:



They're a different cut of meat. It's like using shin of beef in a stew - just because it's a large, red piece of beef, that doesn't make it a steak. Just beause forequarter or gigot chops have the word 'chop' in the title, that doesn't mean they're exclusively for the grill.

If you try making an Irish stew the way I've described it, you'll never go back to the "boil the bejesus out of it on the hob for hours" method again.

PS: Apologies for the ginormous graphic of lamb cutlets, but I can't find a small image.

Last edited by The Sweeper; 28-01-2008 at 03:44.
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28-01-2008, 13:18   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minesajackdaniels View Post
BazMo, I don't know what you're getting at tbh.
I wasn't having a go, I was just genuinely curious about lamb being used in a Stew.
I suppose I'm just so used to having beef for eons that I just thought it was the norm. (but no one uses it, preferring beef)
Just done a straw poll in work and yeah apparently lamb is the traditional way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minesajackdaniels View Post
Second, boiling meat on the hob for a few hours is a surefire way to make it tough as boot leather. If you want to turn tough cuts tender, never let them boil.
I never said boil though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minesajackdaniels View Post
And I'm not talking about using lamb cutlets:
Ah I know the difference alright, but having said that, my ignorance with regards to a Lamb Stew would suggest otherwise!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Minesajackdaniels View Post
If you try making an Irish stew the way I've described it, you'll never go back to the "boil the bejesus out of it on the hob for hours" method again.
I dunno, I will try it your way but it'd take an AWFUL lot to beat my mother's Stew! (She doesn't boil it either!! )

Last edited by BaZmO*; 28-01-2008 at 13:41.
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28-01-2008, 13:39   #9
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Lamb may be the tradition, but it's basically a cheap cut of meat, spuds and veg cooked in a pot. I think it's the kind of dish that's difficult to make hard and fast rules about; there's probably a million and one regional (even family) variations.

For what it's worth, we always used beef here.
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28-01-2008, 20:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noby View Post
Lamb may be the tradition, but it's basically a cheap cut of meat, spuds and veg cooked in a pot. I think it's the kind of dish that's difficult to make hard and fast rules about; there's probably a million and one regional (even family) variations.

For what it's worth, we always used beef here.
I'm going to make a stand on this one, partly because of the other thread that was on here about traditional Irish cooking where many posters responded with "Eh, not much. Dunno." There is actually a great tradition of a lot of extremely enjoyable Irish dishes, and it needs to be celebrated.

Traditional Irish Stew is a sheep-based stew, and no other meat. Saying otherwise is like saying you're making traditional chicken chow mein but you use spaghetti instead of noodles.

Beef stew is a completely different dish - when we had simple beef stew at home it was melting chunks of beef in a rich, thick, brown gravy with potatoes and carrots. (I must try making it again soon actually, I haven't made a beef stew without the addition of stocks, wines, ports, guinness or something else to the liquid in years.)
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28-01-2008, 20:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minesajackdaniels View Post
I'm going to make a stand on this one, partly because of the other thread that was on here about traditional Irish cooking where many posters responded with "Eh, not much. Dunno." There is actually a great tradition of a lot of extremely enjoyable Irish dishes, and it needs to be celebrated.

Traditional Irish Stew is a sheep-based stew, and no other meat. Saying otherwise is like saying you're making traditional chicken chow mein but you use spaghetti instead of noodles.

Beef stew is a completely different dish - when we had simple beef stew at home it was melting chunks of beef in a rich, thick, brown gravy with potatoes and carrots. (I must try making it again soon actually, I haven't made a beef stew without the addition of stocks, wines, ports, guinness or something else to the liquid in years.)
Ah, dont be getting in a stew about it!!!!
Seriously tho, those are some good recipies there, and lamb is traditional and has a different flavour to the old beef stew, it's nice for a chang sometime,anyway i usually throw all lamb, spuds, carrot, onion, stock cube water into a pot, stew for couple of hrs on hob and hope for d best!!
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28-01-2008, 21:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerash View Post
Ah, dont be getting in a stew about it!!!!
Seriously tho, those are some good recipies there, and lamb is traditional...
As much as Minesajackdaniels doesn't like people referring to Irish Stew with 'beef' in it, I feel the same way about lamb.

Lamb is a 'new' meat to these isles, becoming very popular in the 1980's.

I have no problem with using it in a stew but while it may seem anal, a traditional Irish Stew is made of mutton, not lamb.
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28-01-2008, 23:12   #13
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Lamb only came to Ireland in the 1980's?

mayb it's mutton dressed as Lamb!!

which came first, the mutton or the Lamb?

Ah sure you might as well be hung for a sheep as a Lamb!!!
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28-01-2008, 23:21   #14
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Lamb only came to Ireland in the 1980's?
So much for the suggested etymology of Imbolg being "Ewe's milk"!
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29-01-2008, 01:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponster View Post
I have no problem with using it in a stew but while it may seem anal, a traditional Irish Stew is made of mutton, not lamb.
Good point. Saying that, do you find mutton is easy to get in Ireland from the supermarket? Genuine question - I know I can get it down here easily enough but in Ireland it seems as though they try to pass mutton off as lamb (no pun )
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