Please meat Orla @ fancypaper – little things that make you happy.
The Nontraditional Irish Stew: My Mammy’s Recipe.
I grew up on Irish stew. It was my favorite meal of all time and the most powerful craving I had when I left home for college at age seventeen. I would phone home begging for stew for dinner Friday evening when I got back. After a summer in New Jersey, I can still remember getting that first stew on my return home.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered my mother was not actually giving me traditional stew!!
Frankly, I didn’t really mind. It was tradition in my house.
A traditional Irish stew is made with lamb. It uses carrots and parsnips and is stewed in stock with herbs. Another version uses pearl barley. I make all of them regularly. My mother however had a fast track to her own recipe (if you can fast track stew) but it is so comforting and tasty. It is something I imagine Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) liking. Be warned: There is processed packet soup involved.
If you want a taste of Irish childhood in the 80’s, here it is! I often make other stews myself but this is a dead cert for making children happy. It is the aroma.
Marian’s Traditional Irish Stew (eighties version)
1. 1 lb lean beef stewing meat
2. Three carrots (the good ones from the ground, not jarred!)
3. Small onion
4. Two pints of water
5. Packet of oxtail soup (use two if you have too much water)
6. Baby potatoes / chopped Queens (optional)
7. Crusty bread
8. Irish butter (or any butter!)
1. Fill a large pot with water and add the beef. Boil and let simmer for 2-3 hours. (I am a person who usually browns meat first but my mother didn’t so I am sticking to that as it turns out lovely)
2. Slice the carrots and add after the first hour.
3. Dice the onion and fry in a small pan. Leave to one side.
4. At the second hour, add the soup mixture and onions and stir in.
5. Serve when you are satisfied with the meat tenderness. Season to taste.
Serving Suggestion: Serve in a bowl with crusty bread slathered in good butter on the side. (I am a bread and butter person).
Of course, if you do try this and want more tradition, you can add chopped and peeled potatoes (or baby potatoes) at the hour and a half stage. As a beverage, I suggest a large glass of cold milk.
(I am not the wine police however and red would be nice too!).
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Enjoy your fast food stew!