Classic Irish Stew

Serves 2 with a little left over

3 hours cooking time total

½ pound of sliced bacon cut into chunks

1 pound lamb stew meat chunks

½ pound onion (I used spring onions plus all the green parts)

3 stalks of green garlic sliced

1 bottle of beer, stout is great but any will do. (You may replace the beer altogether with stock or wine)

4 medium carrots, unpeeled and cut into chunks

1 ½ pounds potatoes cut to bite sized pieces (I used russets but new potatoes would be great too)

Fry the bacon in a 4-quart Dutch oven or other heavy covered pan over high heat. Brown the lamb in the bacon fat in batches, the caramelization of the browned meat adds most of the flavor to the thick broth so get those sides all brown. When all of the meat is browned, add it all to the pot and stir in the onions. Sauté this for 10 minutes stirring frequently. This step really builds a layer of sweetness and melding of meat and aromatic. Add the green garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Pour in the bottle of beer (or two cups of your choice of cooking liquid). Put the pot on low heat and allow to braise for 2 hours stirring occasionally.

After two hours of slow simmering, the pot is ready for the carrots and potatoes. Stir these in and replace lid and allow to slowly simmer an additional hour. Stir a few times while cooking taking care not to break the potatoes. Your stew should be tasted for salt and adjusted as needed and served with a good brown bread.