About this recipe:Traditional recipes for Irish stew use a tough, fatty cut of lamb and only potatoes, onions and herbs. This up-to-date version with lamb leg steaks is leaner, and more colourful with the addition of carrots, but still retains its comforting, homely flavour.
4 boneless lean lamb leg steaks, about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) in total, trimmed of fat and each steak cut into 4 pieces
1 kg (2¼ lb) floury potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
1 large onion, sliced
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) carrots, thickly sliced
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
450 ml (15 fl oz) hot lamb or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
chopped fresh thyme and parsley to garnish
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Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F, gas mark 3). In a large casserole, make layers of the lamb, potatoes, onion and carrots, sprinkling each layer with parsley, thyme, chives, and salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a layer of potatoes, then pour over the stock.
Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven to cook for about 2 hours or until both the meat and vegetables feel tender when tested with a skewer.
Increase the oven temperature to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Remove the casserole lid and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes on top are golden brown and crisp. Serve hot, sprinkled with more thyme and parsley.
Some more ideas
Lamb best end of neck cutlets are traditional in Irish stew and you can use 8 of them if you like, but make sure they are well trimmed of fat before layering them in the casserole. * If you want the cooking liquid to be slightly thickened, sprinkle 1 tbsp pearl barley between the first few layers along with the herbs. * Use turnips instead of carrots. * Add 125 g (4 1/2 oz) whole small button mushrooms, layering them in the casserole with the onion and carrots. * For a real taste of Ireland, replace half of the stock with Guinness.
Carrots are not traditional in Irish stew, but they are well worth including, both for their colour and flavour and from a nutritional point of view.
I went to 4 stores and none of them had *any* lamb! So, I cut my losses and got some nice, lean beef. While the flavors were simple, it was still a very good stew. It went great with some homemade bread and a Guinness! Next time I make this, I *will* find some nice lamb! - 11 Mar 2012