Lamb Stew with Guinness!

Ed Piwowarczyk, my Polish-Canadian husband, is wearing a green shirt today and making Lamb Stew with Guinness. Ed loves the Irish, was in his element on our trip to Ireland nine years ago. Says the Polish and the Irish have a lot in common. They love their food and their drink. They’re musical and they’re passionate about their beliefs. And they both like to champion lost causes.

Here’s what Ed’s cooking up for St. Patrick’s Day dinner:

220px-Irish_clover3 pounds lamb shoulder, cubed; 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced; 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced; 6 stalks celery cut into slices; 1 half-pound of peeled white pearl onions; 1 cup pearl barley; 1 pound white mushrooms; 1 12-ounce can Guinness stout; 2 cups beef broth; 1/2 tsp. black pepper; 1/4 tsp. thyme; 1 cup half-and-half; 4 minced garlic cloves.

Brown the meat in a little oil. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, parsnips and celery, and saute. Add the Guinness, beef stock and barley, and cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours. Stir occasionally.

You’ll notice there are no cubed potatoes in the stew. That’s because we eat it over mashed potatoes. So Ed will have another pot on the stove to boil potatoes.

Smells and tastes delicious. The Guinness gives the stew a special richness and depth.

We’ll follow it up with lime Jello and whipped cream…a tradition from my Irish-Canadian mother.

With The Pogues playing in the background.

Beo fada agus rathúil!

About rosemarymccracken

Rosemary McCracken is a Toronto-based fiction writer.
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