Lamb Shank Irish Stew

If you aren’t the biggest fan of corned beef, unless the word “hash” is after it, like me but you want something festive to make on Thursday I have just the thing for you.
The first time I ever had Irish stew was last year in Manzanita, Oregon when I went to the beach with the boyfriend’s family.

It was a dreary, rainy day, and Jon had found lamb shanks at a farmer’s market in town. This is the recipe he made for all of us, and we ate ourselves sick. It’s really tasty, hearty and worlds better than that overly salty piece of pink beef and cabbage you were thinking about throwing together.

Here’s what you’ll need:
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1/4 bunch of thyme
1 bay leaf
6 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half length wise
2 one pound lamb shanks, cut in half
3/4 bottle of good red wine
32 oz beef broth
1 cup pearl barley
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350* F
Chop up the onions, carrots and garlic. Set aside.
Put flour on a large plate and season generously with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir with a fork. Heat about 2 Tbs of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Lightly dredge lamb shanks with seasoned flour and carefully place in hot oil.

Brown shanks evenly on all sides. Once they are nicely browned, remove from the pot and set aside.

Add onions, carrots, garlic, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and stir.

Cook for about two minutes. Pour in barley, wine and beef broth, bring to a simmer. Nestle shanks into the pot, cover, and put in the oven. Allow to cook for two hours.

While that is braising, assemble the herb/garlic butter. You will need:
1 stick of unsalted butter
10 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 bunch of parsley

Mince your garlic and, taking the flat side of your knife, drag the minced garlic along the cutting board. Smash it down to make a sort of garlic paste.

Chop up the parsley leaves and incorporate that into the paste.

Melt the unsalted butter in a small sauce pan and add the garlic/herb paste. Turn heat to low and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Once the two hours of oven time is up, remove from oven and take off the lid. Place the potato halves over the top of the stew, flat side down, covering the whole top as well as you can.

Pour the garlic and herb butter over the top of the potatoes and cook for an additional 45 minutes, uncovered, or until the potatoes are done.

Ta da!!

You will easily impress whoever you cook this for over the St Patrick’s Day holiday. Unfortunately for me, I have to be at a work conference for St Patrick’s Day. Fortunately for you, that meant I had to celebrate 2 days early and make lamb stew to share with you guys. Have a fun St Patrick’s Day! And trust me, this recipe is way better than that pink meat you were thinking about putting in your slow cooker for St Patty’s Day. It’s even a festive green color on the top!

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