Traditional Irish Stew
This recipe for irish stew (Stobhach Gaelach) is from the 1950s and is about as traditional as I can find. Just meat, potatoes and onion - no barley or other veg. You can cook this either on the hob or in the oven.
- 1 kg scrag end of lamb or mutton, cut into cutlets and fat trimmed
- 1.8 kg potatoes, peeled and cut in half or quarters, depending on size
- 500 g brown onions, thickly sliced
- 570 ml meat stock (hot stock if cooking in the oven)
- A sprig of rosemary
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- If cooking in the oven, pre-heat to 150°C (fan 130°C) / 300° F / Gas 2
- Take a deep saucepan or casserole, depending on how you want to cook it and add a layer of half the potatoes, then the meat, and then the rest of the potatoes, seasoning well between layers.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Firstly cover the pan with some greased tin foil, and put the lid on.
For cooking on the hob
- Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2-2½ hours. As the pan is so tightly covered, you may find a heat diffuser useful. Also you need to shake the pan at times, to prevent sticking.
For cooking in the oven
- Place the casserole into the pre-heated oven and cook for 3 hours (possibly a bit less for fan).
- In either case, the stew should not be too liquidy - it is not soup - and the potatoes will help to thicken it up.
- Adapted from a recipe in The Constance Spry Cookery Book (1956) by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume