The Irish have been making stew since the Bronze Age, when cauldrons made stewing a popular cooking method. With the introduction of potatoes in the 16th century, the key components for classic Irish stew came together. While most often made with mutton (sheep over 2 yrs old) — unfortunately very hard to find in Toronto — Irish stew was also traditionally made with kid (goat), which thanks to our large East & West Indian communities, is much easier to come by.
I’ll be making my little homage to St. Patrick’s Day with bone-in goat, the essential two kinds of potatoes (big chunks of waxy potatoes, and floury potatoes that dissolve to thicken the stew), organic carrots and the lovely Irish touch of a handful of barley. I’ll some bright green peas for colour and fresh herbs for the promise of spring. Served with a big slice of crusty buttered bread.
I’ll also make a vegan version with whole cremini mushrooms and some extra root veggies, but the barley means it is not gluten-free.
There’ll be fresh Afoodgypsy soup, organic baby greens salad, hot apple cider, and fresh-baked pie for dessert.
IRISH BONUS: add warm vanilla custard to your pie +$2
Len Senater is the founder and proprietor of The Depanneur, who happily cooks for his friends and neighbours every Tuesday night.