St. Patrick’s Day Stew

I can’t call this Irish Stew, because it isn’t.

Not Irish Stew

Not Irish Stew

You know how I feel about appellation control. See below for a typical Irish stew recipe.

For starters I used chuck steak, because it is cheaper than lamb.  Sad commentary on living in the sheep centre of Western Australia.    However I made it an Irish dish by adding Irish Whiskey to the recipe.  It is OK, It was not Jamieson’s, but the inferior Protestant version from North of the border; Bushmill’s.  Suitable for cooking.

So, here is my recipe for Slow Cooked Not Irish Stew:


  • 900g Chuck steak, cut into large chunks.
  • 6 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
  • 6 med carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • a few sticks of celery chopped
  • 2 onions cut roughly
  • 4 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tin of mushroom soup concentrate
  • 1 Tblsp tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon gravy mix
  • a dash of mushroom soy
  • a dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • a heaped teaspoon mixed herbs (Rosemary, Sage, Thyme)
  • Bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 anchovies
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 Tablespoon cornflour in 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a pan and brown the meat a few pieces at a time, transferring them to the slow cooker as you go
  2. Heat the pan again and brown the onion so it almost burns.  Transfer it to the slow cooker
  3. Deglaze the pan with the whiskey and pour into the slow cooker
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, stir.
  5. Slow cook

A lot of liquid will appear from the vegetables and mushrooms so there is no need to add much at the start. If the gravy is too thin add a little more cornflour in a minimal ampount of water (or whiskey!)

 “Traditional” recipe for Irish Stew

(as my Grandma might have made it)

  • 2 tbsp lard
  • 600g boneless mutton or lamb cut into 5cm chunks
  • a mutton bone or bacon bone (optional)
  • 1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1  leek washed and sliced
  • 4 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 750 ml dark beef stock
  •  cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In a large frying pan heat the lard and, in batches,  brown the lamb pieces all over. 
  3. Add to a casserole with a tight-fitting lid, along with the vegetables and bone and stock, but not the cabbage
  4. Stir, cover with the lid, cook for one and a half hours.
  5. Add the cabbage, replace the lid and cook for another half hour.
  6. If the stock reduces too much add some boiling water.  
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
This entry was posted in Beef, potato, sacred food, sauce and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to St. Patrick’s Day Stew

  1. Pilgrim33 says:

    It is impossible to buy mutton here now.
    Hogget on very rare occasions but the Aussie Butcher will only order mutton if I buy a whole body.

    • Alan says:

      same here. what is really ridiculous is that beef and pork are cheper than lamb and we are in the midst of the sheep belt, with abbatoirs everywhere.

      • Pilgrim33 says:

        I found that the Mt.Roskill Mad Butcher stocks mutton so on the way home I picked up a 1/2 leg ($20.) and a shoulder($40.).
        Next time I feel the need I’ll get the whole body for $140.00.
        I’ll braise the leg then in a few weeks the shoulder will make the sheepish version of pulled pork.

  2. Alan says:

    By the way the Not Irish Stew really was delicious.

  3. Alan says:

    Agreed Glenn!

  4. Pilgrim33 says:

    I doubt the Irish would recognise your version at all but I bet they’d prefer it as would I.
    I do take issue with the namby pamby “Irish” version though.
    Vegetable oil?
    I don’t have Aunty Laura’s recipe book,unfortunately when she died her moronic son in law sent everything in the house to auction where it realised $168.00 .
    I hope the papers and books went to some one who appreciated them
    Mutton and mutton fat ,potaties and salt and lots more cabbage I reckon.

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