Irish stew recipes

I decided to make some Irish stew – nothing to do with St. Pat’s, I just love lamb, and I’ve always liked Irish stew when I’ve had it in restaurants. What are some good recipes? What are the best cuts of lamb to use? Should it be cooked with the bones or without? And, where can I find some lamb that’s cheap? (Can’t believe how much a leg of lamb costs!)

Also – does it make any differences whether the spices (parsley, rosemary) are fresh or dried?

Re: cuts, I made a wonderful Greek Lamb stew last autumn, and when shopping, couldn’t find “stew lamb”, so the butcher suggested sirloin chops, cut off the bone, and it was great.

Do you have a Sam’s club near you? My Mom found some NZ boneless leg o’ a few years ago, for an unbelievably low price per #.

And, considering the lamb is NOT going to be cheap, no matter what, I’d go upscale all the way, and spend for fresh herbs, especially considering it’s parsley and rosemary.

Gotta contain potatoes, onions, and carrots, I think, oh, and peas, definitely peas. I’d say also beef stock and stout.

What about leeks and turnips? Some recipes call for those.

And what about cooking time? One recipe I found online had to be cooked for twelve hours!

Sure, the more the merrier! I love leeks and turnips, so why not!? Just make sure to soak the leeks properly to get the dirt out from between the layers.

12 hrs??? Insane!!! No way…I’d say closer to 2-3, and that’s cutting veggies, etc, too. It’s a nice way to spend some time in an afternoon, into evening (for me anyway!).

I’d chop and season (kosher salt, cracked fresh pepper, some of the fresh herbs, perhaps some dry red wine?) the lamb and let sit at room temp for several hours…sort of the 1st layer of seasoning, if you will. Then, toss pieces w/ flour, and saute in oil till nicely browned on the outside, then remove. Add chopped onions and garlic, and leek if you’re using it, and saute a few min, then add stock and stout, fresh herbs, and return lamb. Cover and simmer at least an hour, as you really want to make sure your meat is going to be tender enough when the other veggies are cooked. Next, I’d add the potatoes, turnip if using, and carrots - cover and simmer another 30 min, then fork test the veggies. The frozen peas can go in the last 5 min or so. Since you floured the meat before browning, you shouldn’t have to thicken again.

Thanx! Anybody got any others?

You could make Irish stew with rabbit meat.

But be careful you don’t get tula-rula-remia

If you live in a large city, check out the ethnic neighborhoods. The Middle Eastern markets around here have lamb from $2-$5 per pound.

I should add, definitely include the bones in your stew, and I would use a cut like shoulder .

Also, I would not use beef stock. Water is fine, and stout is okay if you must, but the lamb and bones produce a hearty broth of their own. I think beef stock detracts from the lamb flavor. You can probably get away with a light vegetable stock, but, really, water will be okay.

Here is a list of Halal markets in the Miami area. I would start calling here and pricing lamb. If Miami is anything like Chicago, it should be a LOT cheaper than a trip to your local grocery store.

No recipe hints here, but you can get lamb relatively cheap by going for stew grade cuts, basically joints and such, with the meat still on them. The other option, if you’ve got the time during the day, learn when the local supermarkets mark down meats that are near their sell-by date. I picked up about a pound of lamb shanks for $1.99/lb a while back. Granted it was about 50% bone, but that’s still better than the $8-9/lb for meatier grades of lamb. Made for a very sweet chili.