Irish Lamb Stew with Colcannon

Serves: 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 lb. piece boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
1 — 12 ounce bottle dark Irish beer
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 slices thick sliced peppered bacon
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1/2 to 3/4 cup milk, warmed
3 tablespoons butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot, and brown the lamb in 2 batches, stirring to brown the cubes on all sides. Return all the lamb to the Dutch oven, sprinkle with flour, and stir lightly to coat the meat with flour. Stir in onion, carrots, beer, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cover.
Place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven, and cook for 45 minutes; uncover, stir the stew, and cook until the lamb is very tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 45 more minutes
Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
About 30 minutes before the stew is ready, make the colcannon: Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
Place the cabbage into a microwave-safe bowl, and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on high for about 2-1/2 minutes; uncover and stir the cabbage. Cover and microwave for about 2-1/2 more minutes, until the cabbage is slightly tender but not mushy. Drain excess liquid, and set the cabbage aside, covered.
Place the potatoes into a large bowl, and add enough milk as needed, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Beat the potatoes with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cabbage, crumbled bacon, and parsley until well combined.
To serve, place a scoop of colcannon onto a plate, make a hollow, and fill with braised lamb stew.


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