This dish is perfect as an appetizer, a delightful addition to a cheese platter, or a delectable standalone dip.
Connemara Lamb Casserole
Connemara Lamb Casserole
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 50-100 g butter
- 600 g lamb shoulder or middle neck cut in 3-4 cm chunks
- 100 g smoked bacon diced small
- 20 g garlic finely chopped (2-3 large cloves)
- 200 g onion finely diced (1 large)
- 70 g celery finely sliced (1 stick)
- 100 g leek finely sliced (1 med leek)
- 20 g thyme leaves finely chopped (1 large bunch)
- 600 g floury potatoes peeled and cut into 3 cm slices
- 300 g young carrots cut if large
- 700 ml fresh chicken or lamb stock or 1-2 chicken stock cubes
- 30 g parsley finely chopped
- 30 g chives or spring onion finely chopped
- 50-100 ml fresh cream [optional]
- Heat the oven to 150 C. Lightly pat dry the lamb and bacon between sheets of kitchen paper then transfer to a bowl. Add olive oil and season lightly, gently massaging the meat.
- Place a large flameproof casserole pot over high heat, add the meat and brown in one or two batches. Remove and set aside on a plate. Reduce the heat to medium, melt in the butter, add the garlic and gently cook for 30 sec – 1 minute.
- Next add the onion, celery, leek and thyme and gently fry for 10 minutes or until they have softened.
- Return meat to the pot, along with one third of the potatoes and all the carrots, and stir into the stew. Cover with stock and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the remaining slices of potato across the top of the stew, pressing slightly into the liquid. Dot with a little butter and give a final seasoning of sea salt and ground black pepper. Cover and place in the oven to cook for about 1-1½ hours or until the meat is tender.
- Gently stir in herbs (and cream if using) whilst checking the seasoning one last time.
- Serve the stew right away or leave covered overnight in the fridge for flavours to develop.
- This is real comfort food on a wet wintery evening - which in Ireland can be in all 4 seasons.
- Adding parsnips or cabbage or turnip will slightly adjust the flavour of the stew.
- Add pearl barley or lentil and split pea mix for a heartier and budget friendly dish.
- Like all soups and casseroles this stew tastes better on day 2 - even day 3.
- Freezes really well.
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