Irish lamb stew
1 to 1 1/2 lb. Leyden Glen Farm lamb stew meat or 1/2 lamb shoulder (bone-in)
2 small to medium onions
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes (see potato notes above)
1 small to medium turnip
salt and pepper
2 T. olive oil
16 oz. water, lamb stock or beef stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Chop the onions. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a soup pot and brown the onions until translucent. Remove and reserve the onions leaving a bit of the juice in the bottom of the pot. Add the lamb and brown. Add salt and pepper. Remove the fat if your lamb is too fatty. The fat from the lamb will add flavor but too much isn’t pleasant.
Step One: Peel and dice the potatoes. I like to dice the floury potatoes small and leave the waxy ones in larger chunks. When the lamb is brown, add half the potatoes (use the smaller floury potato dice) and the reserved cooked onions. Add your liquid of choice (water, stock or beer) and dried thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very low simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 to two hours. It may be necessary to add more water to avoid scorching. By the end of the cooking time, the potatoes should have disintegrated and become the thickener for the stewy-sauce. If they haven’t, use a potato masher and squash them down to thicken the stew.
Step Two: In the meantime, peel the carrots and turnips. Cut into chunks about an inch square. Add the remaining waxy potatoes, carrots and turnips to the stew and cook until the newly added vegetables are to your liking. A half hour usually does it for me. Some people like their veggies more whole and crunchy and some like them mushier. You decide!
Photo courtesy jeffreyw via Flickr