Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours 20
Ireland's national dish is Irish stew. A traditional Irish stew was always made with mutton, but more often nowadays, is made with lamb.
Controversy reigns over whether vegetables other than potatoes should be added. Purists don’t include carrots in their stew but you will usually find onions, leeks and carrots to bring extra flavor.
Some call for oven-cooking, others for simmering on top of the stove. Some pan-fry the chops and vegetables first; others just pack them into the casserole.
Mind, it depends on which Irishman or woman you consult; everyone has their own one and only, true, original and authentic traditional recipe.
- Heat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
- In a large frying pan heat half the oil to hot but not smoking. Add half the lamb pieces and brown all over. Remove the lamb and place in a casserole, cover with a half of the potatoes, onions, leeks and carrots.
- Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, heat again then add the remaining lamb and brown all over. Add to the casserole and cover with the remaining vegetables.
- Add the stock, the bouquet garni, cover with a tight fitting lid, cook in the oven for 1 hour.
- Add the cabbage (if using) replace the lid and cook for another hour. Check from time to time to make sure the stock isn't reducing too much, if it is add a little broth or boiling water. The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid. If the sauce is too runny at the end, cook a little longer with the lid removed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve piping hot.
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