…Where 'La Gourmandise' is not a sin!

Monthly Archives: March 2007

We’re back from a very long period away from the blog that happened for a lot of personal reasons that kept me away from the kitchen on a regular basis. I will try to start posting regularly again as I have a backlog of new recipes to post as well as some articles from myself and others that have been sitting around here for way too long.

This morning the Padrino asked me about a recipe for Irish Stew, to better celebrate St-Patrick’s day, and I decided to post it here instead of sending it to him directly. Traditionally Irish cooking is very similar to French Canadian cooking from Quebec, one of the reason is that a lot of the French families there have some Irish blood since there was a lot of Irish immigrants coming into Quebec in the old days. The traditions mixed and many of the old style recipes are very similar. It is also true that some of the traditional stew recipes have common roots across Northern Europe and especially with peasant-style cooking from rural France.

Irish Stew was traditionally a root vegetable stew made with mutton, but these days mutton is rarely available at most butcher’s shops, so it is normally made with lamb. A nice deboned shoulder of lamb works well, especially if you keep the bones to make a nice lamb stock first. I like those kinds of stews to be rich and thick so I normally prefer prepare a strong stock the day before, and then cooking the stew after the stock has cooled overnight and the fat is removed. If the stew is still a little on the clear side after cooking, I might thicken it a  bit with a  bit of cornstarch or flour diluted in some Guinness, just to give it a little bit of texture of course…

Ingredients

Stock
2 tbs butter
3 pounds lamb bones
6 quarts water
1 branch celery
1 large carrot, peeled
1 large clove of garlic
1 medium onion cut in half
2 large branches of parsley

Stew
2 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
3 quarts lamb stock
3 pounds deboned lamb shoulder with the fat removed, cubed
1 bottle Guinness
1 glass of tannic red wine
1 pound carrots, sliced
2 pounds potatoes, diced
1 pound turnip, diced
1/2 pound small pearl onions
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
1 large branch of parsley
2 tsp thyme, crushed
2 bay leaves
4 cloves
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground dry ginger
2 tsp corn starch dissolved in some Guinness
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Stock
1. In a large stock pot brown the bones in the melted butter for a few minutes over high heat.
2. Add the water and the other ingredients and bring to boil.
3. Reduce the fire and simmer from 4 to 6 hours until the water is reduced by half while skimming the foam regularly.
4. Cool down the stock and filter using a metal colander.
5. Refrigerate overnight and skim the fat off the surface the next day.

Stew
1. Coat the lamb cubes well with the flour.
2. In a large stock pot brown the meat well in melted butter over high heat.
3. Add the Guinness and the wine and bring to boil.
4. Add the lamb stock as well as the herbs and spices and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for an hour.
6. Add the root vegetables and simmer for thirty minutes.
7. Add the mushrooms and pearl onions and simmer for another thirty minutes.
8. If the stew is still a little bit clear thicken with the cornstarch dilute in Guinness and simmer for 10-15 minutes more.
9. Adjust the salt and pepper, and remove the cloves, bay leaves and parsley.
10. Serve in a wide soup bowl accompanied with some crusty country bread and lots of fresh farm butter and a few Guinnesses.

Lucito

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