Happy Healthy Holidays!
Simple stew made of mutton (or possibly lamb), potatoes and onion, often with a measure of stout thrown in for added depth and flavor. Often, only lamb or mutton neckbones, shanks, and other trimmings were the only basis for the stock. Yet, in days of yore, these would-be discards still held enough flavor after a long simmering process to do justice to a hearty bowl of stew.
1 pound lean mutton pieces
1 pound carrots
1 pound onions
1 pound potatoes
Salt and black pepper
Pinch of thyme
Place mutton with thyme in sauce pan and add cold water to cover.
Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for one hour.
Add onions, potatoes, carrots, and peeled and roughly copped. Season.
Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Adjust seasoning.
Irish Stew with Herbs may be served alone or with cooked green cabbage or sprouts.
Recipe makes 6 to 8 servings.
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St. Patrick's Day Lore
Irish stew is a filling, flavorful peasant dish made with the least expensive, most readily-available ingredients. The Irish raised primarily sheep and root crops for subsistence. The sheep provided wool for warm clothing, milk for drinking and making cheese, and eventually food. Potatoes were the main food crop, prior to the potato famine. Irish stew, "ballymaloe" or "stobhach gaelach" as it is called in Gaelic, is traditionally made of lamb or mutton (less tender sheep over two years of age), potatoes, onions, and parsley.