Happy St Patrick’s Day – Irish Stew

 

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Recipe by Gary Rhodes and taken from Sunday Magazine many years ago!  

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

1 ½ lb (750g) middle neck of lamb, cut into cutlets
4 onions
1 lb (450g) potatoes
4oz (100g) unsalted butter
1 garlic clove
1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 sprig each of fresh rosemary and thyme tied in a square of muslin) or bouquet garni sachet
2 ½ pints (1.5 litres) chicken stock or water
6oz (175g) carrots
6 celery sticks
8oz (225g) Savoy cabbage
2 tsp freshly chopped parsley

Step One : In a large pan, cover the lamb with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain off the water and refresh the meat in cold water. Drain well. Whichever, cut of lamb you use – for example, neck, scrag end or chops – you should always do this blanching process. It removes any impurities and gives the stock a cleaner, clearer finish.

Step Two : Slice the onions and then peel and dice the potatoes into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the onions, half the potatos and the garlic clove.

Step Three : Add the bouquet garni to the pan and fry for 2 mins. Add the lamb cutlets and cover with the chicken stock or water. Bring the liquid to the simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 30 mins. The meat will be half-cooked and the potatoes will have started to puree and thicken the stock.

Step Four : Peel and dice the carrots and add them to the pan. Continue to cook the stew for a further 10 mins. Dice the celery sticks into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces and add to the pan with the remaining potatoes. Cook for 15-20 mins. At this stage, the potatoes shouldn’t be cooked until they’re pureed but until they’re just soft.

Step Five : Shred the cabbage, add to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the meat and vegetables are tender. Adding the cabbage towards the end of the cooking time ensures that you don’t lose the fresh flavour and that the stew won’t discolour. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Step Six : Remove the bouquet garni and garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve the stew in individual bowls or from one larg bowl in the middle of the table. You now have a complete meal but even so, I usually serve it with good crusty bread.

Self-love Stew

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (April 2019) and taken from Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe.

Spoon it into a bowl. Sit in your favourite spot. Hug that bowl. Enjoy every mouthful. You made this for yourself out of love. You are nourishing yourself. You are smart. You are kind to yourself. You can wash up tomorrow.

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Serves : 1

Ingredients:
Oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
A few handfuls of finely chopped or grated root veg (such as carrot, parsnip, spud or sweet potato – any root will do)
1 tsp paprika
150g tofu or 2 white fish fillets
1 x 400g tin of beans (baked, kidney, butter, cannellini, chickpeas – any beans) drained
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A fistful of kale or spinach
Squeeze of lemon juice
A pinch of salt and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper

Step One : Warm a little oil in a pan over low heat and cook the garlic and onion, to soften. Stir, stir; slow and cathartic.

Step Two : Add the finely chopped or grated root veg and stir some more, then add the paprika and mix in. Stirring is key; it is soothing.

Step Three : Chuck in the chunks of tofu if you’re veggie or vegan, or white fish if you aren’t. Tip in the beans; whatever beans – add them for goodness. For laziness. For filling comfort. For making the dish stretch into an extra meal that you won’t have to cook. Pour over the tomatoes. The cheaper ones are sloppy and excellent for soups and stews.

Step Four : Shred some kale with your hands. Rip it the heck up with all the stress-busting physicality you can muster. Go on! Tear it to shreds. Drop it in. Stir it through, breathe and stir, and breathe.

Step Five : Bring to the boil – like your fury, heat it up and watch it roar … then, reduce to a simmer. Douse in lemon juice to brighten, and add some salt and pepper to amplify the flavours. Serve that stew, just for you.

Other great cookbooks that help you keep an eye on the pennies:-
 

Lobscouse

Lobscouse, or Scouse as it’s commonly known, was originally a sailor’s stew of meat, vegetables and hardtack – a hard, salt-less biscuit. These days, it’s usually a stew made from stewing beef or lamb and leftover vegetables.

Daisy-Anne Borge says of her version of Lobscouse “I used to make this dish when times were lean. But my family still enjoy the recipe as it is cheap, quick and easy – and very satisfying too.” You could also add a little extra flavour by beating in some freshly grated nutmeg, the juice of a lemon or even a little chilli or curry powder.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 1 1/2-2lb (675-900g) potatoes; 1 onion, diced; 5 fl oz (150ml) milk; 13oz (340g) tin corned beef, diced; any cooking vegetables, chopped; 1 oz (25g) butter; salt and black pepper

  •  Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/Gas Mark 6. Boil potatoes until tender, then drain thoroughly and mash.
  • Boil onion in milk until soft, drain and add to the mash with corned beef, vegetables and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn the mixture into a buttered ovenproof dish and cook for 20-25 mins. Serve with fried eggs on top.