Hello sorry yes we haven’t died and to celebrate we’re posting an Irish stew recipe that we cobbled together in our pressure cooker.
Of course the real peril with posting an Irish stew recipe is that we’ll invariably get messages telling us that Irish stew shouldn’t have this, that or the other in it – and listen, we love feedback, but please do not be that person. We’re calling it an Irish stew because it’s a stew and it has Guinness in it and frankly, that’s enough for us. You ought to be grateful that I didn’t open this blog entry with some crass joke about the last time an Irish Stu filled my hole and left gravy around my gob, but thankfully we aren’t that type of crass blog.
Of course, when I said we haven’t died at the top of the post, the grim reality is that of course, we actually nearly have. I mean yes there may be a touch of hypochondriac melodrama on that sentence but here is how the last couple of weeks have unfolded. We returned back from Canada in a pressurised cylinder of 400 people’s farts, coughs and sneezes into a Heathrow airport so rammed and so busy that I physically cheated on my husband seven times just trying to squeeze past people in the queue for Pret a Manger. We then spent the flight back to Newcastle being lightly coated in a miasma of spittle and snot made worse by two sneezing children whose parents were taking a ‘hands off’ approach to parenting, leaving them free to clamber about the seats and coughing in people’s faces. See if that had been my mother I’d have been put in the overhead lockers, albeit not for any sort of punishment but because she’d have wanted to keep her precious cargo of 800 duty-free Lambert & Butler buckled in next to her in case of emergency.
Either way, I got properly ill. Not COVID, I tested, but just the sort of ill which demands you lie in bed wailing and scratching at your throat and falling asleep during Four in a Bed and waking up delirious in the middle of Question Time and wondering why the fuck Priti Patel is reviewing someone’s breakfast. Can you imagine Priti Patel running a B&B? She’d seal you in a windowless room, weld the door shut and spend the evening pushing fancy chocolates into her smirking gob whilst you scrabbled for oxygen. She’s John Kramer in a Karen Millen pencil dress.
Anyway, a few days later Paul started
attention-seeking coughing and revealed that he had one-upped me (well holidays do always bring us closer) and had caught COVID. This meant pushing him into our bedroom, bringing the TV in so he had something to occupy himself with and me bringing him all manners of snack trays. However, a few days later, I caught it too, we reunited in the hallway as though we were Desmond and Penny from Lost – and that’s where we are now. Me in the middle of coughing and spluttering and feeling lousy – in particular is the fuzzy-headed brain thing I’ve got going on – Paul emerging from the other end of his COVID like Andy Dufresne popping out of the sewer pipe in The Shawshank Redemption. Luckily the pipe was just full of Covonia and not faeces.
So the good news: as someone who had convinced himself he would die the second he got COVID, I don’t feel half as bad as I thought. It’s been more knackering having to keep on top of my health anxiety and reassure myself that my tonsils aren’t about to go septic or my sinuses aren’t going to jam up like someone squirted expanding foam up there or that my cough isn’t one hack away from needing to be put on an iron lung. COVID, so far, feels like a bad cold – and make me thankful indeed for two things: I gave up smoking seven weeks ago and I had my vaccines and booster. Now some people – usually those with a degree from the University of Life (i.e. as dense as a Boxing Day dump) on their profiles – may leap to say that the vaccines and boosters do not work given both Paul and I caught COVID in the end. It ought to go without saying that this is bollocks: the vaccine lowers the chances of serious complications and touch wood, that’s very true. The first time Paul had COVID was dreadful – partly because I couldn’t see him, partly because he was a perfect sphere – whereas this time around he’s just been a sniffly-snotty mess. That’s as good a reason as you should need if you’re still sitting on the fence a year later. Think of your poor bum!
So, assuming this COVID doesn’t turn into something terrible, we are at least back in the country and cooking again, with all the blog entries that entails. Which is nice. To that end, shall we cut to the chase and sort out this best ever Irish stew? But of course.
How about that bowl of Irish stew to put hair on your gebs?
Lovely lovely Irish stew ingredients!
Chuck all the ingredients in for this Irish stew and you’re laughing
best ever lamb Irish stew
Yield 4 servings
Now we've used an Instant Pot for this because we're fancy and it saves farting about with the hob, but this will do just fine cooked in a heavy-duty iron pot for a few hours. We've portioned it up as four large servings at around 390 calories a time - we usually just have ours in a bowl but feel free to serve it with whatever.
As ever, calories are approximate and do rather depend on your mix of vegetables and what have you.
Finally, see the note on lamb!
- 400g lamb - we used chopped lamb neck which you can get from most butchers - it's a dirt cheap bit of meat too so won't break the bank
- two large onions
- one teaspoon of minced garlic
- one teaspoon of tomato puree
- about 400g of chopped carrot
- 300g of chopped celery
- tin of chopped tomatoes
- 400g new potatoes, halved
- 330ml bottle of Guinness
- 400ml of beef stock
- pinch of dried chives, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper
- slice the onions into fine half-moon slices and then:
- if using an Instant Pot, select saute and fry them gently until golden, adding the garlic and thyme a minute or two before everything is done
- if on the hob, well, same as above, but on the hob
- tip all of the other ingredients into the Instant Pot and set to pressure cook on low for about 30 minutes, making sure the valve is set to seal - once done, allow to vent pressure and serve
- if making it on the hob, put everything into the pan and allow to bubble away on a medium heat for at least a couple of hours until everything has thickened
- serve with whatever you like
- lamb neck is cheap and tasty, but if you're not a fan, swap out for diced beef
- if Guinness isn't up your street, just use more beef stock
- the recipe freezes very well indeed
- dinner time and the weather is easy - like all of our amazing recipes - you can pre-order here!
- second time was always a charm but also fast and filling - order yours here!
- cookbook one was where it all began all those years ago: click here to order
- and don't forget about our planner: here
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A hyena’s belly is never full.