Irish stew is loved well beyond Ireland. It’s any variety of meat-and-root vegetables stew native to Ireland. As in all traditional folk dishes, the exact recipe is not consistent from time or place to place. Serve this one-pot wonder with crusty white bread or Irish soda bread to mop up the juices.
2 large onions, thickly sliced
6 large potatoes, peeled
1 kg lamb neck chops, trimmed of excess fat
3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small swede, peeled and cut into chunks
½ bunch fresh thyme OR 30 ml chopped fresh parsley, plus extra, to serve
500 ml hot beef stock
Preheat the oven to 160°C
Spread the onions in a large baking or casserole dish
Slice four of the potatoes and cut the others into large chunks
Place half the sliced potatoes over the onions, then all the lamb chops
Add the carrots, swedes and chopped potatoes
Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the thyme OR parsley.
Top with the remaining sliced potatoes, then gently pour the stock over — it should cover the vegetables by about 3 cm, so add a little more if needed
Cover the dish with a sheet of foil, then the lid (or another sheet of foil if it doesn't have one)
Bake for 2 hours, or until the lamb is very tender
Carefully lift the lid and foil from time to time during cooking to check the liquid hasn't evaporated and the onions are not catching on the bottom of the dish and adding just a little stock or water if needed
Serve sprinkled with fresh thyme or parsley.
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