Tasty, Irish Lamb Casserole
I’ve just popped this delicious-smelling, tasty lamb stew in the oven and I can’t wait to eat it. I have some Irish ancestry, so I’m going to call this an Irish Stew. I’ve been making beef and chicken stews and the kids are starting to get sick of the same ones, so I wanted to make a stew using lamb for a nice change.
Like all good stews, you begin by frying your onions, garlic and celery in butter and olive oil. Next, you add your floured-meat to fry the edges of the meat, so that the goodness within is sealed, so to speak. Then, you add your veggies, stock, herbs and pop in the oven for ages, until the meat is tender and soft.
Stews are my favourite to make, as they are incredibly rich and flavoursome, they make a big potfull so that you can eat leftovers, or freeze, and they are ultimately very healthy. They provide a balanced meal, with meat, veggies, carbohydrates and a small amount of fats.
Here’s how I made this Irish stew:
- 4-5 bacon rashers, without fat, finely chopped
- a cup full of good quality lamb, chopped up into bite size pieces
- Flour to coat the meat before frying
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 5 medium-sized potatoes, chopped
- 4 medium-sized carrots, chopped
- fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 11/2 cups of beef stock
- Throw a generous amount of butter (3 tbsps.) and some olive oil into a cast iron pot, along with the bacon. Fry.
- Next, add the onions, garlic, and celery. Fry until onion is translucent.
- Coat your meat in flour and fry to seal the goodness within.
- Add your beef stock. When I make my beef stew, if I’ve added too much water and it looks like my stew will be too runny in the end, I take excess out and freeze to use as beef stock in future. I have used this beef stock in this recipe, but you can use ordinary beef stock if you don’t have any home-made stock on hand.
- Add all the vegetables, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Pop in the oven for at least an hour and 15 minutes.
Frustrating mum moment: Now, I could swear that I bought fresh thyme at the shops, but I can’t find it anywhere. I vividly remember selecting some but it’s not in the fridge. So annoying! I suspect my groceries were piled so high on the conveyer belt that it may have fallen off and been missed. Darn it! I’m going to have to use another herb instead. I’ve chosen oregano, purely because I don’t normally use oregano in my stews, so I suppose it will give it a different flavour. I’d definitely use thyme over oregano.
Note 1: You could also throw in some fresh parsley and a dash of white wine.
Note 2: Feel free to make my home-made dumplings to throw in towards the end of cooking. To see how to make these, click on any of my other stew/casserole recipes. I made these ones today with oregano. You can see them in the cover photo. I can’t make a stew without dumplings! They really are the highlight of the dish. I reckon my kids would refuse to eat stew without dumplings too!
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