Irish stew

Irish stew
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There’s only one thing that cheers me up more on a cold winters day than a healthy, warming bowl of Irish stew and that’s hearing my grandkids ask for more.
This really is my idea of comfort food, it has a deliciously sweet onion stock and is packed full of veggie goodness. Delicious!

Serves 4


900 g scrag end or neck of lamb
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 large sprig fresh thyme
250 g swede, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 – 3 lamb stock cubes
To serve:
2-3 carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
300 g floury potatoes, peeled and diced
1 leek, diced
250 g swede, peeled and diced
a little fresh parsley, chopped


Using a sharp thin boning knife, remove as much meat from the bones as possible. Take off any fat and chop the meat finely and set aside.

Put the bones and fat into a large pot. Add the roughly chopped carrots, onion, celery, swede and leek then place in the pot with the garlic and herbs.

Cover with 4 litres of cold water and add the stock cubes. Bring to the boil, season lightly, then simmer gently, uncovered for up to 2 hours. Skim with a large tablespoon if necessary.

Let the liquid simmer down until reduced by nearly two thirds. You need about 1 litre of lovely sweet stock.

Strain and discard the bones etc. Ideally, cool and chill the stock then you can scrape off any fat that has settled on top.

Now make the stew. Put the meat into a large saucepan and cover with the stock. Bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer partially covered, for about 30 minutes until tender.

Add the diced vegetables to the pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the potato starts to dissolve into the soup and thicken it.

Finally check the seasoning, adding lots of aromatic black pepper and a little sea salt.
Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread.

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