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An Irish Stew

The last sentence of the recipe reads, “Ladle into deep, warmed plates and serve with bread – greens have no place here.” Well, any recipe that’s that cheeky needed to be tried, and we are so glad we did!  This is a truly delicious and succulent stew of lamb, carrots, potatoes, and parsnips, scented with a hint of nutmeg. We suppose that when the base for a stew this good is nearly 3 bottles of Guinness, one is allowed to be a bit cheeky and ignore one’s greens!

An Irish Stew

2 lbs. lamb stew meat (or cubed from a boneless lamb shoulder)
4 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
a good grating of nutmeg
1 tbs. light brown sugar
3½ cups Irish Stout, such as Guinness
1½ tbs. malt vinegar
4 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4 medium parsnips,, peeled and thickly sliced
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into rough chunks

Heat the oven to 350°F. Put the lamb in a plastic bag with the flour and some salt. Close the bag and shake until the lamb is coated in flour.

Put the olive oil in a large casserole dish and brown the meat, in batches, on all sides. As soon as each batch is nicely browned, transfer it to a plate. You may need to add a little extra oil to the pan for the last batch.

Melt the butter in the same pan and add the onions, seasoning well with black pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the onion is very soft and lightly browned. Sprinkle over the nutmeg and brown sugar. Tip back in the meat (and any juices that have gathered on the plate), pour over the stout and vinegar, then add the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. Add just enough water to barely cover (around 1½ cups) and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Remove the pan from the stove, cover, and cook in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes. This will reduce the sauce a little. Check seasonings. Ladle into deep, warmed plates and serve with bread – greens have no place here.

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