While trying (desperately!) to catch up with soc.culture.celtic on Use(less)Net news a few years ago, I came across this recipe from one of the better-known and rational posters on that group (Fiona Hyland). At first I thought this is going to be bland, but as I read through it, I actually started getting hungry as it sounded better and better... I haven't tried this myself - yet - but I will in the near future.
Fiona now has several Irish recipes (and more) on her own web server, including Roast Carrots, Brown Bread (yum), Potato pancakes, Caulcannon (yuk; sorry, cabbage and I have never agreed with each other!) and more.
fch2@cornell-dot-edu (Fiona Hyland)
Subject: Re: Irish Recipes! Irish Stew
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 1995 11:43:29
Organization: Cornell University
>With St. Patricks Day coming soon, I'd appreciate a really good
>recipe for Irish Stew, or any other dish we could prepare for
>March 17th party. I'd like a change from the traditional Corned
>Beef and Cabbage. I love to cook and am considered a good cook,
>but would really like to add to my limited authentic Irish
>Thanks, in advance.
Well, this is how I make Irish stew (but I'm a Dubliner, so maybe I don't count). Get nice meat- lamb is traditional, but I often use beef since it's a lot cheaper here. Brown some onions and the meat (cut into 1-inch cubes), about 2 onions per pound of meat. Slice up veggies- carrots and parsnips are a must, some people also use turnips, but I don't really like them. Saute them for a few minutes and then add just a little bit of brown sugar to glaze them. Meanwhile, be peeling and slicing the potatoes, lots of them (probably 4 or more per pound of meat). Small ones slice in four, big ones in 6 or 8 pieces. Stick them in a casserole dish with the meat and onions, and add some liquid. If you have wine open, that gives a lovely flavour, or some stock. You can use beer, but it can be a bit bitter. One recent innovation is to add some barley, but only a small amount (a handful), as it swells up a lot. You'll need more liquid if you use barley- maybe 3 inches of liquid instead of about 1 or 2. Add salt and pepper, a few bay leaves, some basil and other herbs if you want. Cover the dish and bake the potatoes and meat in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes, then add the carrots etc. (If you just want to leave it cooking, you can add everything at the same time). It needs to cook for about 1 or 1.5 hours, it's ready when the potatoes are tender. Mash some of the potatoes in the liquid when you're eating it, very delicious!