Irish Stew, or how to use a metric ton of Pak Choi

Lately we have eaten lots of ”Irish Stew”. It is dead simple to make, reasonably cheap, and provides an opportunity to use the insane volumes of Pak Choi that grows in our greenhouse.

”Irish Stew” is basically a lobscouse, you put meat and vegetables in a pot and boil it until the vegetables have dissolved. As such, it is well suited to finish cooking in the oven.

What you need:

  • 0.5 kg potatoes, sliced to 1 cm thickness, then chopped to 2×2 cm pieces.
  • approximately 0.2 kg green cabbage, shredded.
  • garlic, 1-5 cloves
  • onion, 1-2 medium size, sliced
  • fat, for frying
  • lamb or mutton, 0.25 kg, diced to 2x1x2 cm.
  • beef or chicken stock, to cover the ingredients.
  • herbs. Rosemary, thyme, oregano. If you tie the sprigs together with some cotton twine, it will be easier to remove them later.
  • salt and pepper
  • medium size pot, about 3 liters. Preferably oven-proof, but it is not critical.

The measurements are approximate. I usually use a lot more cabbage. YMMV.

Use the oven if you are lazy and have problems keeping track of the time, the likelihood of burning or otherwise ruining the food is much lower than if you keep it on the stove. The oven should be preheated and set to 175 centigrade.

Put the meat in the pot, cover it with cold water, bring to a boil, discard the water. Rinse the meat with cold water, and leave it to dry in a colander. Rinse and dry the pot as well.

Heat the fat in the pot. Add the onions and garlic. Fry gently until soft.

Add the potatoes. If it is a ”soft” variety, reserve half and add closer to when the stew is finished. If it is a ”hard” variety, add all of the potatoes.

Add the meat, cabbage, and herbs. Cover the ingredients with stock, cover the pot with a lid, and bring to a boil.

Put the pot in the oven or continue boiling on low temperature on the stove.

The idea is to keep boiling the stew until the potatoes and onions have dissolved and thickened the sauce. This takes about one hour.

Then you add the remaining potatoes, if you reserved any, and season with salt and pepper as needed. Boil an additional 20 minutes to soften the potatoes.

Remove the herbs before serving. Eat with bread.

If you use new potatoes or very ”hard” potatoes, it is unlikely that they will dissolve completely, in that case try thickening the sauce with onion powder. Avoid using flour, it ruins the texture of the dish.


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