The Battle of the Stew
Irish Stew — the quintessential Irish meal that’s ingredients remain hotly contested today. While most Irish agree that the meat is always lamb (or mutton) and there must be onions and potatoes, they often disagree about what other ingredients make up a “traditional” Irish stew.
After spending a week in Ireland, I have had my fare share of stews and I can say for certain that no Irish stew is made alike —but all are hearty and delicious. But where does this disagreement come from?
Back in the day, Irish stew was the food of the common and poor folk and therefore the ingredients depended on what was available and cheap — a concept all of us college students can relate to. The stew also tastes better after being refrigerated and makes hearty leftovers that can be reheated during the week therefore making it the perfect filling meal for students on a budget.
Cheap, filling, easy and reheatable — I think I just found my winter staple. Try it out for yourself! You won’t be disappointed.
2 large onions
4 large carrots
½ stewing steak or lamp
8 large potatoes
salt & pepper
How to Make:
Wash and cut onions and carrots into moderate size chunks and add to the pot. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut each one in half. Slice the meat into smaller pieces and if using stewing mince roll into meatballs. Get a large pot full of water and add the potatoes and meat. Bring to a boil then start adding the carrots and onions, keep on a low boil. Cooking time for the Irish stew should be approximately 60 minutes or when the meat is fully cooked and the potatoes are soft inside. Add salt and pepper according to taste. Once the stew is cooked, serve in bowls and provide fresh slices of break and butter.
This is the most common and basic recipe of Irish stew, but if you want to add more of a challenge trying adding some of these ingredients!
Mushrooms, Parsley, Herbs, Beef gravy granules, Oxtail powered soup preferable an Irish brand like Knorr, Table Sauce (Brown), Ketchup, Curry powder, and Guinness.
Check out some of these other traditional stew recipes below for a different take on this Irish classic.