roamin' catholic: karin rosner

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Slow Cooker St. Patrick’s Day Irish Stew

This description is rated PG-13 for adult language, a bit of over the top blarney, and blatant abuse of a valuable immigrant culture. 😉

This receit has been adapted from many another adaptation floatin’ around the Internet, laddies ‘n lassies. I’ve cooked a lamb stew on the stove in my Le Creuset French Oven for the big Irish American holiday for several years, mostly because I am the only person in my family that loves Corned Beef and Cabbage. As it turns out, I am the only person on my family that loves lamb, too. That means, I will be eatin’ this stew for several meals, so it better be tasty and not taste like shite.

I turned to me untrusty Rival Smart-Pot, which cooks a wee bit too hot and too quickly, to get this meal made on St. Paddy’s Day 2013, because of a bit of a problem: no feckin’ gas, no feckin’ stove, no feckin’oven. There was a gas explosion and fire down the hall a few weeks ago. Thought I was in a fil-m with majestic cinematic pyrotechnics an’ whatnot. Begorah. Anyway, this stew was tasy, to be sure, to be sure. And so, I share it with you.

Times given are typical of slow cookers. Slow Cooker size: 6 qt. Prep time: 30 minutes

A note on using dried herbs in slow-cookers – use more than you normally would on the stovetop. Longer cooking times tend to weaken the potency of the dried herbs and they fade dramatically, like a rainbow leadin’ to a pot of Leprechaun gold….

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 carrots, scraped and thinly sliced into coins
  • 3 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 5 medium potatoes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lamb neck pieces or shoulder chops, trimmed of most of the fat and sliced into stew-like pieces if at all possible. Reserve the bones. 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1.2 teaspoon dried thyme (whole leaves) 
  • finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Preparation

Find your loudest Irish music and start blastin’ it to wake yer neighbors. I like The Pogues

Slice up yer veg. Notice the threes of carrots, onions and celery? It’s fer the Holy Trinity. ‘Tis St. Paddy’s Day. He taught that. No, there are no shamrocks included in this recipe.

Open your package of meat from the butcher or refrigerator case. Look at your lamb. Give thanks to the Maker, the Lamb of God, to be sure, for its life. Try to remember that lambs are food, not friends… even if they were cute and cuddly before…. Don’t cry. Save your cryin’ for slicin’ the onions, ladies and gents. Try and trim up the lamb pieces into stew cubes, which is fairly easy using chops. For the neck pieces, perhaps it’s not so easy, so don’t. Try and trim away as much fat as you can. Do not throw away the bones. They are going into the slow cooker and add body to the sauce. Trust me.

Place the chicken broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil. (I use “Better Than Bouillon” Chicken Base mixed with boiling water. Brilliant!)

Put all the vegetables in the crock; arrange the lamb on top. Take the bony pieces and add them in as well.

Sprinkle the salt, pepper and thyme on top of everything, then dump on the chicken stock. Cover your pot.  Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours on HIGH or 7 to 9 hours on LOW. (My’ stew was done in 3 1/2 hours on high. I didn’t even have time for a decent nap.)

‘Twill be soupy. Remove the bony pieces. (You may nibble them – cook’s share!) Mix up the mess in the crock a bit. Ladle the stew into bowls. Chop up some of the parsley rather finely, and sprinkle a bit of St. Patrick’s Day green on top. It pretties it up.

Serve with your favorite Irish bread, like a soda bread or a brown bread.

And Guiness.. or Murphy’s or…

Slainté!

And no, I’m not even a bit Irish. I’m an American Mutt of mixed Mittel-European descent. The closest I get is living on the border of Woodlawn, the Bronx. (Look it up.)


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