Ever since a family vacation to Ireland in the eighth grade, I've been on a the hunt for a wonderful Irish Stew recipe! I finally found one a year or so ago (though, for the life of me, I have no idea where I found this gem) and decided that this year I'd trade in our normal Shepherd's Pie for Irish Stew on St Patrick's Day. After all, I can't stand corned beef and cabbage, and it's not really Irish anyway! This almost didn't happen this year since I had a hard time finding lamb, but I finally did, and this was perfect for a rainy day of watching basketball and drinking Irish beer...oh, and did I mention the gorgeous colors of the Irish flag in this dish make it even more perfect for celebrating my Irish heritage?!?! Just remember... "When Irish eyes are smiling, it usually means they're up to something!"
2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 3/4 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
3 large leeks, white part only, halved, washed and thinly sliced
14 ounces chicken stock
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup packed parsley leaves, chopped
Combine lamb, potatoes, carrots, celery, leeks, broth, thyme, salt and pepper in a 6-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. Put the lid on and cook on low until the lamb is fork-tender, about 8 hours. Stir in parsley before serving.
Pairs wonderfully with green beans (my husband mixed them into the stew), crusty bread and shard Irish cheddar, and Irish beer (Harp is my favorite, please and thank you!).