This Irish Stew recipe is from Joe Keys, a native of Dublin, Ireland, who moved to Shamrock in 1995. He's cooking up some more for this year's St. Patrick's Day Celebration, but arrive early if you want a sample; it sold out quickly at last year's festival. The recipe is from Joe's mother, Cathrine Keys, who thickened it with 4 large potatoes (cooked and mashed) instead of instant potatoes.
2 T. cooking oil
2 lbs. lamb shank, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
2 T. chopped fresh thyme
1 T. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. pepper, or to taste
4 carrots, sliced
2 leeks, sliced (or 8-10 green onions, sliced)
1 parsnip, sliced
4-5 ribs of celery, sliced
1/3 c. instant potatoes flakes (add more for a thicker stew)
Brown half the meat at a time in hot oil in a large pot. Stir in parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and 5 c. water. Simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Add vegetables, cover, and continue simmering for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are done. Add more water if needed. Whisk instant potatoes into stew; continue simmering from about 3 minutes. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve in shallow bowls with Irish soda bread or cornbread. Yield: 10 servings.
From the May 2003 issue.