Saturday, 8 November 2008

My Kitchen, My World - Ireland.

This week in My Kitchen, My World, we have travelled to Ireland. I felt it my duty to make an Irish stew, and, as luck would have it, Food Network Canada is featuring one this month.
A funny aside to any Canadian readers, while I was picking up stewing lamb for this dish at a Superstore, I ran into Galen Weston. I have never expected to see him actually in the stores. Nice to see him in the trenches, as it were. This is the second time I have run into a Canadian personality in a grocery store - several years ago I ran into Colin Mochrie in my old, mostly South Asian neighbourhood. Go figure. I have really got to start dressing better when I go out to shop. Lord knows who I will run into.

This lamb stew has a very authentic taste, my changes are noted beside the original.

Irish Lamb Stew - from Food Network Canada Website.

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
• 3 lb. boneless lamb stew meat (preferably shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch cubes) (I used 1kg.)
• 3 tbsp canola oil
• 1 x large onion, chopped
• 3/4 tsp dried thyme
• 1 1/2 cups dark beer (I used a full can of Guinness, 2 cups)
• 1 1/2 lb. medium new potatoes, peeled and quartered (I rarely peel potatoes)
• 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut 1/2 inch thick diagonally (I also added a large handful of mushrooms)
• 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large bowl, season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge lamb in flour mixture, shaking off excess. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Working in batches, brown lamb on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Pour 1/4 cup water into pot, scraping up browned bits from bottom with a wooden spoon. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and onion is beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Return lamb to pot; stir in thyme, beer, and 1 1/2 cups water (I used a little less water because I used more beer). Cover; simmer until lamb is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

3. Add potatoes and carrots. Cook, covered, until vegetables are tender and stew has thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely before storing. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove, adding water as needed. Stir in parsley just before serving

I served the stew with some of my green bread - see last post - and some whipped herb butter. It was hearty, warm and satisfying. I am feeling more Irish already.