Our first stop was the Guinness Storehouse, one of the most incredible buildings I've ever seen. This giant factory continues the 2OO+ year-old tradition of brewing like a gazillion pints of Guinness daily, as well as roasting all their own barley on site. Did you know Guinness is only made of 4 ingredients? Roasted barley, hops, yeast & water. That's it! Of course the magic is in the alchemy of it all - the science and the art of crafting beer. And while I never liked Guinness before, I gotta say, it's totally different in Ireland! I really walked away with a new appreciation for this beer. It's really an integral part of Irish heritage & culture and contributed to shaping the city & supporting its people.
Refueled & re-energized we hit the town and made our way to the Temple Bar area, known for its pubs, nightlife, and general good fun. The streets were packed with the Irish and tourists alike, and the vibe was hip and magnetic. We hopped around from some of the more well-known pubs like the Temple Bar, to other more traditional pubs like The Palace Bar. I didn't drink at all of them, but just soaking in the live music & jolly atmosphere was good enough for me.
Tons of cool coffee shops like Legit Coffee Co. on Meath St grabbed our attention & euros with their hipster feel and delicious bevvies. And walking the grounds of Trinity College only to stumble upon a rugby match was such an unexpected treat. Have you ever seen a game? I have no idea what's going on but man, those guys are built like brick s*@t houses!
And after a whirlwind trip, just like that we were on our way home again, back to Maastricht and soooo excited to see our little Aiden. Who, by the way, had a great time with Baka Barb :D
And if you give this recipe a test run, let me know in the comments below how this compares if you've ever had Irish Stew before. Enjoy! xoxo
TRADITIONAL IRISH STEW
- 1 large onion, chopped into large pieces
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 carrots, peeled & chopped small
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped small
- 3 large white potatoes, peeled & chopped small
- 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
- 6OO grams lamb steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Liters vegetable stock OR (in a pinch) 1.5 bouillon cubes with 2 Liters boiling water
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves picked off and a bit left for garnish
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot, place EVOO over medium heat. Once the oil is heated, add onion, garlic, and lamb, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until onion softens and meat is browned on all sides.
- Add white potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and celery, and continue sautéing for 5 minutes.
- Add vegetable stock, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme and increase the heat to high. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and let the stew simmer for up to an hour. **
- Once the stew is cooked, garnish with remaining fresh thyme & enjoy a big bowl on its own or with a slice of whole grain bread.
**Alternatively you could do Step 1, then transfer the meat, onions/garlic, herbs and veggies all to a large slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours - even better!
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