Tullamore Dew Irish Stew

3 pounds lamb neck chops or shoulder
3/4 cup Irish whiskey (such as Tullamore Dew)
1 medium onion, peeled, cut in half, thinly sliced
4 slender carrots, scraped, cut into 3/4-inch diagonal slices
2 medium waxy potatoes (such as Yukon gold), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into thin slices
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced dried rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 cups veal stock (chicken broth may be substituted)

1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen tiny peas, thawed (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 bunch green onions, green part only, finely minced

Trim off some small pieces of lamb fat and reserve. Place the lamb into a large bowl and add 1/2 cup Irish whiskey, massaging the liquor into the meat with your hands. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Put reserved morsels of lamb fat into bottom of heavy 3-quart casserole. Place over low heat and slowly render the lamb fat, stirring occasionally. Remove lamb from marinade, dry well and add to lamb fat. Raise heat to medium and brown the pieces of lamb, cooking in batches if necessary so they aren’t too crowded (if crowded, they won’t brown).

Assemble the stew by making at least 8 layers of the meat, onions, carrots, potatoes, seasoning each layer well with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme and rosemary. Add bay leaves. Slowly pour in the veal stock (or chicken broth), letting it trickle down through the meat and vegetables. Cover casserole with its lid or with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook until the lamb is tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Occasionally remove the lid, and gently stir the ingredients. Add a little water or stock if stew seems to be drying out. The completed dish should be a broth; the liquid is thin, not like gravy you find in some stews.

Immediately before serving, combine peas, butter, salt and pepper in a small saucepan. Place over low heat, shaking often, until peas are very hot and tender. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Put into a serving dish.

Remove lid from casserole, gently stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of Irish whiskey and take to the table.

Serve stew from casserole and pass the onion/peas for guests to sprinkle over each serving.

Serves 6.

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