Serves 4 | Gluten Free

The first time I had Irish Stew I thought the chef didn’t know what he was doing. I was used to my mum’s stews which were thick and dark. Thankfully I was polite and didn’t comment until I had tried it and quickly discovered it was in fact delicious! The chef was Irish and it was his mum’s recipe.

An Irish stew has a thin broth like sauce as there is no flour added to thicken the stew. It is though, a complete meal in itself with the iconic Irish potato, plus leeks, carrots and cabbage. If you prefer a thicker version I would add some barley.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
500g mutton or lamb (I used shoulder chops and cut them into pieces, leaving the bone with the marrow for extra flavour)
4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 leek, cleaned and finely sliced
1-2 carrots, roughly chopped
500ml beef stock
bay leaf
½ cup, thinly sliced (optional)
salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and in batches brown the lamb. Place the browned lamb in a casserole dish along with all the other ingredients except the cabbage and salt & pepper. Cover and cook for 1 hour at 180°C.  Now add the cabbage and stir, then cook for a further 30-45 minutes without the lid. Season to taste before serving in bowls with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.

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