Food & dining

sunday supper

Recipe for Irish stew

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 4 with leftovers

16large (1 pound) pearl onions
¼cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
3pounds cut-up lamb stew meat (from the leg or shoulder)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6large (1½ pounds) carrots,
cut into 2-inch lengths
½teaspoon dried thyme
6cups chicken stock
3medium (1¼ pounds) russet
potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions and cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. With a paring knife, peel the onions, leaving the pointed ends and roots intact.

3. On a dinner plate, spread the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the lamb lightly, shaking off the excess.


4. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Brown the meat in batches for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

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5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Cook the onions, carrots, and thyme, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Return the meat and any juices in the bowl to the pan with the stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring once or twice, or until the meat is very tender when pierced with a skewer.

6. With a large spoon, skim the fat from the liquid. Set aside 4 cups of meat and vegetables and 1 cup cooking juices for the shepherd’s pie. Ladle the remaining stew into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
Sally Pasley Vargas