Monday, March 29, 2010

Nigella's Irish Stew

Here's a stew that doesn't really seem like a stew....

  • 3/4 cup parboiled barley
  • 3 pounds rib lamb chops not less than 1 inch thick, trimmed of any fat
  • 5 medium onions, chopped, or 12 boiling onions
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, or 12 baby ones, peeled
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cups veal stock
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Leaves from a medium rosemary sprig, minced
  • 3 sage leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  1. Cook the barley 20 minutes in boiling salted water, drain it, and reserve.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  3. In a casserole in which you're sure everything's going to fit, brown the lamb. You shouldn't need to add any cooking fat to the pan. Remove the meat.
  4. Add the vegetable to the casserole, turn them in the fat, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly softened.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the stocks and heat.
  6. Remove the vegetables to a plate for a moment, then layer the casserole with the chops, the vegetables, and the parboiled barley, seasoning well with the salt and pepper and sprinkling with rosemary, sage, and parsley as you go.
  7. Pour over the warmed stock and arrange the potatoes on top overlapping like a tiled roof, and season again.
  8. Cover the casserole so that the potatoes steam inside.
  9. Put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the potatoes are soft and the meat is thoroughly cooked.
  10. If you want the potatoes browned on top, dot with butter and blitz under the broiler or in a turned-up oven when cooked.

Do not make this stew if you're really hungry because it takes forever to cook!

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