IRISH STEW (Ireland)

IRISH STEW (Ireland)

One-pot cooking doesn't get much simpler than Irish stew, which was traditionally made with mutton, slowly stewed for hours until the meat was tender, with onions, potatoes and some recipes adding carrots to the pot. To avoid the stew being waterly, some recipes incorporate pearly barley, a knob of roux, or sliced potatoes in the bottom of the pot, while others reduce down the cooking liquor at the end. These days, you're more likely to find Irish stew made with lamb, with herbs and stock added for depth of flavour. Some versions include ingredients such as Guinness stout beer and parsley dumplings.

When the Irish began emigrating to the United States in large numbers in the mid-1800's, fleeing from the starvation caused by the potatoe famine, they naturally brought along their food traditions. The hearty stew evolved and adapted to include locally available products.

Sheep were not as plentiful in America, so cooks substituted beef and other more readily available meats.