Irish stew has been enjoyed by people around the world for years. It does have variations and people add their own personal touches. After all, what it the point of cooking if you are not going to enjoy it.
The following recipe does not use the traditional lamb or mutton. Instead pork stew meat is used. The reason for this rather odd substitute is that lamb is not very easy to come by in some areas. Most people don’t have too much trouble finding pork. Feel free to adjust this recipe to your own tastes and enjoy!
2 TBS olive oil
2 lbs pork stew meat
salt and ground pepper
2 TBS minced onion
6-8 medium potatoes, peeled and halved or quartered
2 cups chicken broth
2 sprigs of thyme (about 2 tsp dried)
1 TBS fresh parsley (1-2 tsp dried)
1 TBS chives (1-2 tsp dried)
You can add 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped if you enjoy carrots in your stews. You can also substitute the minced onion for 2-3 medium onions peeled and halved or quartered.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
In a Dutch oven or oven safe casserole dish, brown the stew meat in the olive oil over medium heat.
Add onions and broth and bring to a boil.
Add potatoes and season with salt and ground pepper.
When potatoes are beginning to soften, remove from heat and add the thyme.
Cover the dish and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Add the parsley and chives just before serving.
This stew is wonderful with bread and really hits the spot on those cold winter days. As long as you have a pot of this stew in the oven and a loaf of bread, let it snow. Of course this stew is not only good in the winter. It can lift your spirits on a rainy spring day as well.
One of the odd things about this stew is that it is cooked in the oven. This is not as widely practiced today as was several years ago. People bake all of the time, just not soups and stews. It is nice to make this recipe and think about ancestors and how they enjoyed a similar meal.