Clodagh McKenna's Irish stew
It’s a family favourite that Dermot’s gran used to make - Clodagh McKenna’s back with a warming Irish stew, perfect to knock away the chill of the current cold snap.
Irish lamb stew
4 carrots, cut into chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium onions, sliced
3 parsnips or small turnips, cut into chunks
6 waxy, medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
900g (2Ib) stewing lamb, cut into chunks
120g pearl barley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
About 2 litres hot lamb stock
For the roux
15g plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 150oC
2. Place an ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat and melt the butter. Next add the carrots, season with salt and pepper and stir until they are a nice golden colour. Remove to a plate and repeat the process with the onions, parsnips or turnips, potatoes and lamb.
3. Spoon all the vegetables, lamb and pearl barley into the casserole dish, placing the potatoes on top (you don’t want them to get mushy). Remove all the leaves from the thyme and add to the dish. Cover with the hot lamb stock.
4. Cook in a preheated oven at 150°C for 1½ hours
5. While the lamb stew is cooking, make a roux: Melt the butter in a saucepan and beat in the flour, until it forms a paste. Once the casserole has cooked, ladle the juices from the stew into a saucepan and slowly beat in the roux. Cook, stirring, until thickened and smooth. Then pour the thickened gravy back into the stew before serving.
6. Serve with my rosemary Clodagh bread