Irish stew is the definition of good hearty Irish cuisine, and this is recipe you will definitely want to try.
Irish cuisine is known to be hearty and comforting; maybe because we have such chilly weather, we need that warm, cosy feeling inside and out.
The perfect combination for an Irish stew is, of course, a Guinness and an open fire in the pub, doesn’t that sound so typically Irish?
What is in an Irish stew – variations of a classic recipe
The traditional Irish stew contains a few essential ingredients, including lamb or mutton, potatoes, onions, and parsley, but of course, the recipe has been changed and altered over the years.
Mutton was typically used in less affluent times when it was considered much more admirable than lamb, but today it is substituted for lamb and beef.
The Irish stew is considered Ireland’s national dish, so of course, its one of those foods you need to try it when you’re here. We want to find the absolute best recipe out there, and we think we’ve found it.
Believe it or not, the famous dish is relatively simple to make, and the best thing is, once all the ingredients are in the pot together, you can leave it to do it’s thing, while you get on with whatever else you need to do. Win-win!
The Irish stew can be traced back to 1800. Still, it was probably around a lot longer than that we can imagine because all of the ingredients in an Irish stew have been readily available in Ireland for centuries, just as they are today.
So how do you make the best feckin’ Irish stew, we hear you ask? Well, here we go!
How to make the best feckin’ Irish stew – the basics
Total time to make: Two hours and 40 minutes
Time to prep: 20 minutes
How long will it take to cook: Two hours 20 minutes
Servings: This Irish stew recipe serves four people
Ingredients – everything you’ll need for this Irish stew recipe
- Two tablespoons vegetable oil
- One pound of mutton or lamb cutlets, bones removed, cut into two-inch (five cm) chunks
- Two pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
- One cup of onion, roughly chopped
- One cup of leeks, cleaned and finely sliced
- One cup of carrots, roughly chopped
- Two tablespoons of plain flour
- One and a half pints of dark beef stock
- Optional: Two or three cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to make a good feckin’ Irish stew – the recipe
- Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350°f (180°c).
- In a large frying pan, heat half the oil until hot but not smoking. Add half the lamb pieces and brown all over by turning in the hot oil.
- Remove the lamb with tongs and place them in a casserole dish.
- Cover with half of the potatoes, onion, leeks, and carrots
- Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and heat. Add the remaining lamb and brown all over as before and add to the casserole.
- Cover with the remaining potatoes, onion, leeks, and carrots.
- Add the flour to the still-hot frying pan and stir well to soak up any fat and juices. Cook on a gentle heat for three minutes.
- Add the stock a ladle at a time and mix until you have a thick, lump-free sauce.
- Pour this sauce over the lamb and vegetables.
- Add the remaining stock to the casserole dish, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook in the preheated oven for one hour.
- Add the cabbage (if using), replace the lid, and cook for another hour.
- Check from time to time to make sure the stock hasn’t reduced too much. If it has, add a little boiling water.
- The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid. If the sauce is too runny at the end, you can always cook a little longer with the lid removed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve piping hot, and enjoy.
Top tips – the best ways to enjoy your Irish stew
Just like many other dishes, it’s worth noting that Irish stew always tastes better the next day once it has time to cool and marinate further. Plus, it can last you days.
It’s best paired with some Irish soda bread or boxty with real Irish butter, which you should dip into the hot, tasty broth. And of course, it’s best enjoyed on a chilly, rainy day, so any day of the year in Ireland!
All jokes aside, this Irish stew recipe is as serious as they get, and it’s become a traditional dish in Ireland for a reason, with people flocking from all over the world to try this much-loved dish, paired with it’s best friend, the black stuff.
So, if you’re trying to decide what to cook up for your next family meal, then give this a try, you’ll win them all over.
Credit: The Spruce Eats