Irish Stew with Crusted Dumplings

Our resident consultant on all things Irish, is Janet’s friend Pete, who was born and bred in the finest Irish tradition. He guided us as to the best cuts of meat, absolutely insisted on the barley, and cooking the stew the day before.

YOU WILL NEED

Dumplings

  • 1 ½ kg bone-in lamb or mutton eg. shanks, neck or shoulder, cut ± 2 ½ cm thick
  • 2 T (30 ml) flour
  • 1 T (15ml) Ina Paarman's Garlic Pepper Seasoning
  • 5 medium onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks on the diagonal
  • 2-3 leeks, well washed and sliced into thick rings (optional)
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pearl barley
  • 2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman's Vegetable Spice
  • 6 cups (1.5 litres) boiling water
  • 2 T (30ml) Ina Paarman's Chicken Stock Powder
  • 1 cup (250ml) cake flour
  • 2 t (10 ml) baking powder
  • 2 t (10ml) Ina Paarman's Garlic & Herb Seasoning
  • 4 T ( 60ml) butter
  • 2 T (30 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) buttermilk or plain yoghurt
Method

Adjust the oven rack to one shelf below the middle position. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Toss the meat in a mixture of flour and Garlic Pepper Seasoning.

Toss the vegetables and pearl barley with Vegetable Spice.

Layer the meat and vegetables in a large casserole dish or cast iron saucepan with a lid.

Dissolve the Chicken Stock in boiling water and carefully pour in on the side so as not to wash off the Seasonings.

Cover and bake for 2½ hours. Taste. Increase temperature to 200°C and remove lid.

For the Dumplings, sift the flour, baking powder and Garlic & Herb Seasoning together. Rub in the butter, and add parsley. Beat grated onion, egg and buttermilk together, and stir into dry ingredients to form a soft dough. Drop spoonfuls on top of the stew.

Bake open for 35 – 40 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown and crusty.

Any stew, casserole or curry improves with standing overnight. It is easy to remove the cold fat that rises to the surface. Best to add dumplings the next day. Re-heat stew at 200°C and spoon freshly made dumplings over the boiling hot stew (the Dumplings will not cook underneath if spooned onto a cold stew). Bake as above.

A good Pinotage would go well with an Irish Stew.

Ina's Tip

Any stew, casserole or curry improves with standing overnight. It is easy to remove the cold fat that rises to the surface. Best to add dumplings the next day. Re-heat stew at 200°C and spoon freshly made dumplings over the boiling hot stew (the Dumplings will not cook underneath if spooned onto a cold stew). Bake as above.
A good Pinotage would go well with an Irish Stew.

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