Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oirish Stew.


The Irish theme pub is a ubiquitous international presence these days. The fact that they are about as authentically Irish as a purple, gay, dope smoking, leprechaun seems to escape most people.

Somewhere, in a soulless industrial estate, is a massive factory churning out ‘distressed’ wood tables and chairs. A fake patina of age, paint chosen to resemble a nicotine stained lung, and mirrors advertising Bushmills whiskey and Guinness are apparently all it takes to give that full on Oirish experience.

The whole thing is getting beyond a joke: even Ireland has Irish theme pubs. The current craze in Belfast seems to be ‘spirit grocers’. These were originally boozers that kept a separate counter selling dry and tinned foodstuffs so the man of the house could down a few beers and get in the provisions at the same time, thus ensuring that be didn’t receive a belting when he got home to the missus. Why anyone in this day and age would want to buy a packet of shredded wheat along with their slippery nipple cocktail is beyond me.

All Irish theme bars have Irish stew on the menu. The crap that they usually produce bears no resemblance to real Irish stew. It is a boil in the bag abomination that consists of a tasteless mush containing a few gobbets of fatty meat.

Real Irish stew is so simple to prepare that even a donkey shagging Canuck could master it in ten minutes. All you do is cut some neck (or shoulder) of lamb into chunks and brown it in a casserole. You then cut up some carrots, spuds, and onions into large pieces and chuck them in the casserole. Cover the lot with stock, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for two hours. Before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley. It is a total piece of piss.

Some people claim that the Lancashire hotpot is a superior one pot dish. I say balls to that. If these northern types tasted a proper Irish stew they would give the hotpot the boot for all eternity.

16 comments:

S.I.D. said...

Amen

garfer said...

I knew I wouldn't have to convert you Sid.

S.I.D. said...

And they call us peasants?

Sniffy said...

Hot pot is slightly different I think. Stews/casseroles are all the same to me: scouse, hot pot, irish stew - all the same. Something with meat (beef or lamb), spuds, carrots, onions, stock, cooked for a couple of hours on hob (stew) or in oven (casserole) and served with LOADS of pickled red cabbage.

Sniffy said...

The emphasis is on the pickled red cabbage - none of these things, whatever the name, is edible without it (and sprinkled with lots of salt and white pepper of course).

garfer said...

Hotpot is layered. It's always seemed a bit dry to me, but I've probably never tasted the genuine article.

I like the simplicity of Irish stew. It's just wholesome.

Haven't tried the pickled red cabbage combo.

Sniffy said...

Pickled red cabbage with everythign like that - especially stuff like shepherds pie. Fuckin' DELISH!

garfer said...

Isn't pickled red cabbage a bit Hungarian?

I can't have Magyars dancing all over my Irish stew. They can stick to their goulash.

Presumptuous fuckers.

S.I.D. said...

Red Cabbage??

Cabbages are green, and green they'll stay.

garfer said...

Apart from Pak Choi.

Is it a cabbage or a lettuce?

Hard to say.

pissoff said...

Hungarian.... Well Sniffy is a gypo/sioux after all so that would explain her obsession with pickled red cabbage.

Personally, I'm off of stews. They're crap.

Betty said...

I always used to get corned beef sandwiches with red cabbage on when I was a kid. That was probably to do with being half gypo as there were a lot of pickled products around - onions, beetroot, cucumber. My digestive system is a mess now.

MHN for short said...

I always thought that red cabbage was a German thing. Maybe it's just a Lutheran thing...

Kyahgirl said...

sounds delish garfer. I make it the same except I'm always pressed for time so usually cook the meat in the pressure cooker and then add the rest. Of course I have to stand over the pot and guard it before anyone comes and tries to slip celery or peas into it. Yuck.

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