St. Patrick’s Day is coming soon, so that means you better be wearing your green. This dish may not be green, but it’s from the land of the green, Ireland itself. This Irish Stew has plenty of vegetables to make it healthy and affordable, but with a dashing of bacon and lamb as well. This dish is good for leftovers too because it is as plentiful as a cauldron of gold at the end of the rainbow.
1 tbsp sunflower oil
200g smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunks
900g stewing lamb
5 medium onions, sliced
5 carrots, sliced into chunks
3 bay leaves
small bunch thyme
100g pearl barley
850ml lamb stock (if you can’t find it, chicken stock is good)
6 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
1 small knob of butter
3 spring onions
Heat the oven to 160 degrees C. In a flameproof casserole or a pan, heat the oil and sizzle the bacon for 4 minutes until crisp. Turn up the heat and then cook the lamb for 6 minutes until it’s brown. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate or in a bowl. Add the onions, carrots and herbs to the pan, then cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Return the meat to the pan, stir in the pearl barley, pour the stock over it, and bring to a simmer. If you are using a pan instead of a casserole to cook the ingredients in, make sure to put the stew in a casserole for the oven.
Put the chunks of potato on top of the stew, cover the casserole, and then braise it in the oven for about 1 ½ hours or until the potatoes are soft and the meat is tender. Once done, remove from the oven, put the butter on top of the potatoes, and sprinkle the spring onions on top.
Whether you are going to a parade or relaxing at home, this Irish meal will get you into the spirit for the holiday.