See also Article: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
• 2 lbs. lamb shoulder cut into bite size cubes
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons salted butter
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup all purpose flour
• 1 quart lamb, beef, or veal stock
• 1 12-oz. bottle of Irish stout beer
• Small handful of chopped herbs, parsley, rosemary and/or thyme
• 3 cups mixed root vegetables, (carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, and/or potatoes), chopped into a large dice.
Season the lamb with salt and pepper and then brown the meat in the butter and oil in a large heavy pot with a snug-fitting lid. When the meat is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add the onion and soften. Then add the flour, lower the heat, and constantly stirring, make a roux, (mixture of fat and flour). If it is too dry you can add a little more butter. Stir and cook the roux/onion mixture for a few minutes to cook out the floury taste.
Slowly add the stock and beer and whisk to fully incorporate the roux with the fluids. If using rosemary or thyme, add them now, if using fresh parsley, add it at the very end just before service. Add a little salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce to a very gentle simmer, cover, and cook for one hour.
Add the vegetables and continue to simmer until the vegetables are completely soft, (about 45 minutes depending on the size of them). Based on the degree of fluid you like in your finished stew, you may wish to uncover it during part of the final simmering time. Assess for additional seasoning and serve with your favorite Irish beer.
Have a little extra stock or beer on hand in the event the liquid reduces more than you desire. The type of cooking vessel you employ, the nature of your stove and the cooking temperature will all influence the rate of evaporation. If you wish to add fresh chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce, add them just after the stock and beer. Carrots, parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas, especially larger specimens are tougher than potatoes. Cut them a little smaller than the potatoes in an effort to have all the vegetables cooked simultaneously.
In the words of an old Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.