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Irish stew / white stew

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Author Topic: Irish stew / white stew  (Read 2540 times)
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« on: August 08, 2010, 02:05:50 am »


Irish Stew

Ingredients of Irish stew vary greatly among people of Ireland from recipe to recipe.  But everyone agrees on a few common ingredients -  meat is always lamb (or mutton) and there must be onions, carrots and potatoes in it.  You can also use beef or chicken, but the Irish people call that just 'stew,' not Irish stew.

Other ingredients for Irish stew would include, peas, celery .. sometimes turnips and green beans are also used.   My mother would often make a combination of Irish stew and white stew and let me tell you, it tasted delicious!  We kids would 'sweep' the plate of the last remnants of white stew sauce with bread rolls!

The reason I call it a 'quick recipe' is because it's 'all in one' - meat and veggies together in a single dish so you don't have to cook separately.  Consumes much less time and involves lesser washing of cooking utensils.  This must be seen as an advantage especially in times like the month of Ramadan when one is already short of time.   

2 lb lamb shoulder, cut into cubes
6 large potatoes
4 medium onions, roughly chopped
4 large carrots, cut into quite thick pieces
6 cups water
Vegetable oil
Chopped fresh corriander
3 Bay leaves
Quarter teaspoon mixed herbs
I tb.sp HP sauce or wocestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Melt oil in a cooking pan over a fairly high temperature and fry the meat with HP or wocestershire sauce until it is browned all over, about 3-5 minutes.   Keep aside in a plate.

Fry the onion pieces in the same container for about 2 or 3 minutes and lower the heat just before they start to brown.   Add the fried meat to it.  Pour half the stock into the cooking pan, turn the heat up high and scrape the pan as the water boils to get all the meat juices.  As it starts to boil, add the bay leaves, mixed herbs, salt and pepper.   Cover and cook for 45 minutes.  Keep checking the water in between.  If necessary, lower the heat as it cooks through.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into 3 or 4 parts.  Lower the heat of the stew and add potatoes and carrots, stirring them well together.  Increase the heat and cook for another 45 minutes or until the meat and veggies are tender.    Before serving, remove the bay leaves.    Stir in a handful of roughly chopped fresh corriander leaves.  The sauce should not be too thick.  If you get a stew with a thickened sauce, it may be very nice but it cannot be called "Irish stew."  It would be better known as simply "stew."

If you want to add frozen peas and chopped celery, these can be added with the carrots and potatoes. 

White stew

Now, if you want to turn your Irish stew into a simple white stew, follow all of above steps with same ingredients.  The only difference will be that you may need to use a little less water, or simply cook for a little longer time, uncovered, so that the gravy is a bit less.  Then, prepare the white sauce and mix it with the stew.  In case you need to know the white sauce recipe, it's given below.

White sauce
2 tb.sp. oil
2 tb.sp. flour or cornstarch
1 cup milk
salt & pepper to season

Heat oil in a saucepan on low heat.  Stir in flour / cornstarch.  Stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Do not brown.   Very gradually pour in the milk and keep stirring constantly over low heat until sauce begins to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper.  If you like you can also add a little grated cheese to make it 'white cheese sauce.'   

Pour it into the prepared Irish stew and stir well.  No need to put it over the cooker again, unless you want it to thicken more. 

Should make enough for 4 people for a light meal. Serve with fresh bread rolls to mop up the delicious gravy!

Here's how white stew would look:

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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 02:35:31 am »

Thank u my sister.  yes, it would be a great shortcut for a big family like mine - meat and veggies in one.  Fortunately my kids are much more fond of quickshift dinners than the real traditional ones.  I have heard much about Irish stew but wasn't told too much about its difference with plain stew, and certainly this is the first time I read about white stew.  White sauce is one fabulous add.  It enhances the taste of of lots of foods, veggies with white sauce, crust pie with white sauce filling etc.  This stew  with white sauce sounds super.  Thanks again.  And I'll just pop in and check that other one too, the spinach on toast recipe Smiley  I'm simply hunting for easy making eats ..  Cheesy
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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2010, 02:44:32 am »

u r warmly welcomed dear sis.  I'm glad it's helped .. Smiley
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TEAM MUSLIM VILLA The Avid Reader | Mom of 3 cute rascals
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 03:48:54 am »

Subhan'Allah .... thanks sis.  I'm much in need of quick menus too  Cheesy  This one is really makin me hungry.  I'm sure it will be still more delicious if we  put in our own ideas with a bit of our eastern herbs and spices.
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