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Lamb Stew and Irish Soda Bread (Monday, March 15, 2010)

This being the week of Saint Patrick's Day, I decided to try a few new Irish-style recipes. This evening, we had Lamb Stew with Traditional Irish Soda Bread. Granted, my lamb stew recipe is basically the same as my beef stew recipe, only with lamb instead of beef. But I don't think I've posted a stew recipe, so here goes.

My lamb stew requires about two pounds of lamb (with bones, use about one and a half pounds if you've got it pre-cubed), two large potatoes, about a half pound of carrots, and an onion. Oh yeah, and a bottle of Harp, or other fine Irish beer.

First, cube the meat, and cut the onions into good size chunks. Coat the meat and onions in flour (I put them a bit at a time in a large plastic container with a lid, and shake them until covered) and then brown them in a bit of oil in a large stew pot. I also added a bit of minced garlic while they browned.

Once the lamb and onions are browned, add the bottle of beer, and just enough water so the liquid covers the meat. Cover your pot, and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer over medium heat for a half hour or so.

While the meat is simmering, you can get your Irish soda bread ready, as well as peel and cube your potatoes, and cut up your carrots.

Once the meat has simmered for about a half hour, add the potatoes and carrots, as well as some salt and pepper. You will probably need to add some liquid at this point, but not too much or you'll get a soup instead of a stew. Bring the pot back to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer about a half hour or so, or until the potatoes are tender. If you like your potatoes a little firmer, then wait another 15 minutes before adding them to the pot. Total cook time on the stew should be a bit more than an hour.

In the meantime, I used the recipe from sodabread.info to make my Irish Soda Bread... more or less. I basically used the "Brown Bread" recipe, though I cut the recipe in half, and I used my own soured milk instead of buttermilk (basically you add a cup of milk to about a teaspoon of white vinegar and let it sit for ten or fifteen minutes). I also cooked it on a baking stone, instead of in a greased, lightly floured pan. Basically it's two parts flour to one part soured milk. So you add about a teaspoon of baking soda, a pinch of salt, and a tablespoon of butter to two cups of flour, then stir in a cup of soured milk, and bake at 425 for about 35 minutes. Don't forget to score the top of the bread before you put it in the oven. They tell me that's important. It's also best to let the bread cool for at least 15 minutes before serving it, sliced, with soft sweet cream butter.

As usual, this meal is best served with a pint of your favorite Irish beer, although if you're constrained by the grocery store, you may be stuck with twelve ounce bottles. Either way, it was quite good!

—Brian (3/15/2010 9:15 PM)
(1 comments)

Comments

Sounds tasty...in school we used to have an original Half & Half - Harp served to the half, with Guinness Draught on top

-- Ben (3/17/2010 8:17 AM)

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