What makes an Irish Stew, Irish? Potatoes? I never really thought about it before I started writing this post. Turns out it’s just some sort of stew made with lamb or mutton, potatoes and onions, parsley and possibly carrots. Basically, whatever was commonly available in the area. According to Wiki, this means potatoes actually came in later, as it isn’t a native crop. TIL.
Of all the things I’ve cooked by myself or aided when I was a kid, the ones I remember the most are from children’s cookbooks. You know the ones, they tell you how to make Anzac Biscuits and those evil rice bubble treats with Copha and chocolate, that your mum probably picked up for you from the supermarket. The one recipe that I remember making more than once from those books was Irish Stew. I couldn’t tell you why though, because as stews go, it’s really simple, and frankly, I preferred mum’s beef stew even with its sneaky traps of star anise. Perhaps it was the memory of the achievement of having made something with minimal assistance. Who knows!
Despite how well I’m selling the idea of this stew, it really is one of those dishes that comes together quickly and lends itself to variations on a whim. And with a pressure cooker, makes it something you can throw together on a weeknight as well. Perfect for these early spring evenings which are still a little nippy.
It also goes great with bread to soak up the extra gravy. This loaf I used was a simpler version of my Olive Bread with the olives omitted, and a tablespoon each of chia and flax seeds, and a teaspoon of cocoa nibs for giggles.