“Irish stew is a celebrated Irish dish, yet its composition is a matter of dispute. Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Others would add such items as carrots, turnips, and pearl barley; but the purists maintain that they spoil the true flavour of the dish. The ingredients are boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours. Mutton was the dominant ingredient because the economic importance of sheep lay in their wool and milk produce and this ensured that only old or economically non-viable animals ended up in the cooking pot, where they needed hours of slow cooking. Irish stew is the product of a culinary tradition that relied almost exclusively on cooking over an open fire. It seems that Irish stew was recognized as early as about 1800”
Lamb Stew (my favorite lamb stew recipe over the years)
1 tsp duck fat (can use whatever oil or fat you want to start your dish)
One Large Onion
6 Large Mushrooms-Diced
2 cups of chopped greens (a mix of spinach, kale, horseradish and Beet Greens, frozen for winter use)
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp of green onions and leeks (white and green parts), I used a cube of each frozen in water
2 Large Carrots-Peeled and sliced
3 Med Potato’s -Peeled and diced
1 pds of small diced lamb stew meat*
Salt, pepper, Keens Mustard, Turmic, Basil and Ginger to taste
1 quart lamb bone stock, with 1 quart water (this was a very light broth, if you want darker/heavier use a second quart of lamb stock or veggie stock to go with)
I cooked the onions, mushrooms and lamb till onion clear, and meat browned, then I added in the rest and simmered for around 40 to 50 min at a low-med heat, till the veggies were tender and done. Simple, easy and all done in one pot, a good hearty but very healthy winter soup..
* This was young tender spring grass-fed lamb, Its worth noting that this meat was from when I butchered out lamb legs, and that I had made sure to remove all silver skin from the pieces(which can make them tough, and is often left on by butchers) as well as cutting off all extra fat bits, which I used to render into tallow, and I cut the pieces into about 1/3 of the size typically seen in a store if you are buying beef stew meat.. this means that the meat pieces were right around equal to the size of the carrot and potato pieces.
If you are using older mutton or yearly lamb, or from the butcher lamb stew meat, I would recommend simmering for about another hour or so, till the meat is tender.