Before my mother married my father in 1949 at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour in Dublin, she worked as the cook for a Mrs. Darley in the Anglo-Protestant enclave of Foxrock. This is the same neighborhood that the gave the world Nobel Laureate Samuel Beckett.
The secret to my mother’s cooking was using the best ingredients and simply, magically, making them delicious. Most French-trained chefs could not top her Sole Meunière, that’s how good a cook she was.
Her Foxrock Guinness lamb stew was a favorite of my father, a farmer from Clogherhead, County Louth, because of all the root vegetables it contained.
Here’s the Foxrock Guinness lamb stew recipe, step-by-step:
- Pour a can of beef broth into a soup pot.
- Place your shoulder lamb chops into the broth. These chops are much cheaper than regular lamb chops, so a little money can feed a lot.
- Add your root vegetables: carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, celery, leeks. Many supermarkets have packages for soups that contain all of these ingredients. Do not put the potatoes in until about 45 minutes before serving.
- Cover ingredients with water and bring to a boil.
- When it comes to a boil add a beef stew seasoning mix blended in a cup of water, such as McCormick’s. Even better is Knorr’s oxtail soup mix. Knorr’s is hard to find outside of Ireland but can be purchased over the Internet. Reduce flame.
- Now it’s time to add the secret ingredient — a can of tomato paste. It really adds a pop to the stew.
- In the last hour before serving, add a bottle of Guinness.
- Serve with fresh Italian or French bread. I find that a helping of HP Sauce adds to the already fabulous taste. It’s stick-to-your-ribs delicious.
Enjoy my mother’s Foxrock Guinness stew!
*Dermot McEvoy is the author of "The 13th Apostle: A Novel of Michael Collins and the Irish Uprising," and "Our Lady of Greenwich Village," both now available in paperback, Kindle and Audio from Skyhorse Publishing. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on his website and Facebook page.
* Originally published in 2018. Updated in 2023.