|A hearty stew made with lamb shanks and vegetables, perfect for St. Patrick's Day.|
Irish StewSo just in case you've missed it, I have been cooking up a storm over the weekend for our St. Paddy day series. We first made Irish Soda Bread and then some Creamy Potato Soup and our next dish in the St. Patrick's Day meal line-up is an Irish Stew. Coming up is Corned Beef & Cabbage Hash too! Click the recipe links to check them all out.
I have no idea of the authenticity of this stew, or any other so-called Irish Stew, since it appears that even the Irish may dispute what exactly is authentic and what is not. It does appear that lamb, onion and potatoes are the 3 main ingredients for an authentic Irish Stew, and here we clearly meet that. Anything else is lagniappe in my opinion!
To prepare this stew, I just went to my friendly neighborhood Rouses Market and asked the butcher for some lamb shanks. He grabbed a leg of lamb and went and sliced off the shank and cut it into chunks for me. Now I love Walmart, don't get me wrong, but ya ain't gettin' no real butcher at Walmart. At least not around here that I'm aware of, though I do admit - I have no idea if those folks running around the meat department in white coats at Wally World are actual butchers or not, but I'm pretty sure that all of the meat at my local Walmart comes in prepackaged just like you find it in the meat case. I don't generally buy meat at Walmart. Or seafood since most of it is foreign - I mean I can't even get American packaged crawfish at Walmart even down here, where we have an abundance of fresh crawfish! Buy Wild American seafood folks, demand it in fact... but that's another post for another day.
Anyway, having a butcher at my beck and call, that's just one thing that I love about Rouse's Markets - they actually do the cutting and packaging right there. So, you know it is FRESH. Well, that and the fact that not only do they carry some great specialty meats, freshly created and packaged right there in-house, but they also carry all the Louisiana products that are near and dear to my heart, like my Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning! So if you're local to south Mississippi, please consider shopping at Rouses and if you're not, support your local grocers wherever you are!
Back to the stew. The lamb shanks are so tender and delicious in this stew, but if you have some objection to using or difficulty with finding lamb, you could certainly substitute pork or beef. I highly recommend the lamb shanks - and hey, it we are celebrating St. Patrick's Day, right? Well, this little ole Irish lass is!
As with most stews, this should only improve in flavor and thicken over time - so it's probably ideal if you can make it a day ahead. The bowl pictured was shot right out of the pot. Either way, I think you'll really enjoy the flavor of this wonderful stew and hope that you consider making it. Here's how.
Adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe out of
Recipe: Irish Stew©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Cook time: 2 hour 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- Bacon drippings or vegetable or olive oil
- 2 pounds of lamb shanks
- Pinch or three of kosher salt, divided
- Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour, divided
- 1 extra large yellow onion, cut into wedges
- 2 stalks of celery, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
- 2 large carrots, scraped and chopped
- 1 scant tablespoon of dried thyme
- 3 medium bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 10 cups of beef stock or broth
- 2 cups of chopped potatoes
- 1 large turnip, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 cup of water
Heat the bacon fat in a medium sized stockpot over medium high heat. Meanwhile, season both sides of the lamb shanks with salt and pepper, lightly dust them with about 1 tablespoon of the flour, and reserve the other 2 tablespoons for later. Cook the shanks in the bacon fat for about 10 minutes, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides.
Add the onions, celery, carrots, an additional pinch of salt and about 8 grinds of the pepper mill. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the thyme, bay leaves and tomato paste and stir well, cooking an additional 2 minutes.
Add the beef stock, stir and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a medium simmer, cover and cook for 1-1/2 hours, or until the lamb is tender.
Add the potatoes, turnips and parsnips and bring back to a boil; reduce heat back to a medium simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Make a slurry with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/4 cup of water and slowly stir that into the stew. Continue cooking on a medium simmer for another 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat, fish out and discard the bones and the bay leaves. Serve hot in bowls with some generously buttered Irish Soda Bread.
Cook's Notes: Substitute beef or pork for the lamb if you prefer.
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