Neven Maguire’s Traditional Irish Stew
900 g (2 lb) boneless lamb neck, trimmed and cut into cubes
50 g (2 oz) pearl barley, washed
225 g (8 oz) potatoes, cut into chunks
225 g (8 oz) carrots, thickly sliced
225 g (8 oz) leeks, well trimmed and thickly sliced
225 g (8 oz) baby pearl onions, peeled
100 g (4 oz) rindless piece smoked bacon, diced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
FOR THE LAMB STOCK
450 g (1 lb) lamb bones
1 carrot, cut into cubes
1 onion, sliced
2 whole peppercorns
1 bouquet garni (bundle of herbs tied together with string)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Turnip mash with crispy bacon and onion, colcannon and glazed parsnips and carrots, to serve
To make the stock, place the lamb bones in a large pan with the carrot, onion, peppercorns and bouquet garni. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours until you have achieved a good flavour. Leave to cool, then skim off any scum and/or fat and strain into a large jug. Cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.
Place the boneless lamb pieces in a clean large heavy-based pan and pour over the reserved stock. Bring to the boil, then skim off any scum from the surface and stir in the barley. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes until slightly reduced and the lamb is almost tender.
Add the potatoes to the lamb with the carrots, leeks, baby pearl onions, smoked bacon and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lamb and vegetables are completely tender but still holding their shape. Season to taste.
Transfer the stew into a warmed casserole dish and scatter over the parsley. Have dishes of the turnip mash with crispy bacon and onion, colcannon and glazed parsnips and carrots alongside and allow everyone to help themselves.