Irish Stew: an Ancient and Hearty Dish
A traditional Irish Stew can warm even the faintest of hearts, and the chilliest of days. It’s comfort food as old as time. An ancient bowl of hearty fare, from a hale and hardy people.
My people, my O’Hara people… and most likely your people too.
Every one is Irish, if just for one day
The Washington Post says that “on March 17, everyone is Irish… if just for one day.”
“According to the Census,” they say, “there are 34.5 million Americans who list their heritage as either primarily or partially Irish. That number is, incidentally, seven times larger than the population of Ireland itself (4.68 million). Irish is the second-most common ancestry among Americans, falling just behind German.”Washington Post March 17, 2013
So good Irish folk like good Irish fare. And nothing is more Irish than a hearty bubbling pot of Irish Stew. And, of course, a warm from the oven and freshly baked round of soda bread.
“When Irish stew is bubbling and the soda bread is hot
and the Irish tea is steeping in a little Irish pot.
When the room is warm with laughter and the songs are bright and bold
and there’s poetry and magic in the stories that are told.
Isn’t it a blessing? Isn’t it just grand?
To know the heart and soul of you belongs to Ireland.”
YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS: Irish Apple Cake
Irish Stew on St. Patrick’s Day
As the valleys begin to green and become lush and spring knocks on the door. As March 17 approaches with all its flair, honor your ancestors and treat yourself to a piping bowl of Irish Stew. Wrap up in a cable-knit sweater, pour yourself a cup of Irish tea, listen to some Celtic music (a link to one of my old favorites) and settle in for a cozy night by the fire.
VIEW MORE ST. PATRICK’S DAY RECIPES →
If you have Irish ancestry and like to knit, here is a link to the Aran Sweater Market. They have Aran knitting patterns by clan.
Happy cooking, happy spring!
Bail ó Dhia ort.
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- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 4–6 servings 1x
A traditional Irish Stew can warm even the faintest of hearts, and the chilliest of days. It’s a comfort food as old as time. An ancient bowl of hearty fare, from a hale and hardy people.
- 2–1/2 – 3 pounds boneless lamb, cubed into 1–1/2 inch pieces
- 4 potatoes, sliced 1/2 inch
- 3 onions, sliced
- 4 carrots, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups lamb stock (see notes)
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy pot, layer half of the potatoes, lamb, onions, carrots, and garlic. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and scatter half of the fresh herbs. Repeat the layering one more time.
- Pour the water or stock over the lamb and vegetables, cover, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours or until the lamb is tender. The stew can also be baked in a preheated 325-degree oven for 2 hours as well.
Stock vs. Water
If you can, I love to add stock instead of water which brings another layer of flavor to the stew. Lamb stock is best, but chicken or beef broth can also be substituted. Water, though, is delicious too with the herbs and flavors of the vegetables and lamb.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Irish
Keywords: Irish Stew, Irish Stew Recipe, Irish Lamb Stew