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McSkinney's Irish Stew with Dumplings

By Ellen McKinney, in honour of her Irish heritage.

"I grew up in Saint John, New Brunswick, where much of Irish Canadian history sprouted its roots like the potatoes from the Isle. Some of the early Irish settlers made their first steps onto North American soil along the shores of Saint John. To this day, many east coast kitchens still feature rustic, hearty meat-and-potato meals not different from those of our Irish forefathers and fore"mamas". My mother used to make a stew similar to this one in her crock pot every St Patty's Day."


For the Stew
Blend the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl and dredge the lamb in the mixture. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Brown lamb on all sides. Transfer lamb to a heavy pot. Cook onion in the skillet until lightly coloured, about 2 minutes. Add to the pot with the lamb. Over medium-high heat, add the Steam Whistle to the lamb and onions. Add just enough of the boiling water to cover the meat. Add boullion, if using. Cover pot tightly and simmer on low heat 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, blanch potatoes by covering them with boiling water; drain. Add potatoes, carrots and turnips to stew during the final 20 minutes. Cook until veggies are tender. To thicken sauce, blend part of the flour mixture that was used for dredging with sauce from the pot to make a thin, smooth paste. Add the paste to the sauce in the pot, and simmer until thickened. If dumplings are to be added, prepare as directed in the following recipe.

For the Dumplings
Combine the biscuit mix with the seasonings, blending well. Add water and Steam Whistle and stir to moisten. Drop by the spoonfuls on top of the boiling stew. Cover, and cook for 12 minutes.

Note:Steam Whistle supporter, Jim MacDougall, has sent in his homemade dumpling recipe as an alternate to the ready-mix type.

Mix n' blend:
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Add 1/2 cup milk

Mix thoroughly. Drop by spoonful over hot stew. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes (no peeking). As a kid,if there were dumplings left over, we would poor molasses over them for dessert (cheap dessert for a poor family!)


For the Stew:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 pounds lamb for stew, cut into cubes
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 1 cup of STEAM WHISTLE PILSNER (use the rest of the beer in the dumpling recipe)
  • 1-1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 2 envelopes of vegetable, beef or chicken boullion (OPTIONAL
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 or 3 white turnips, quartered

Parsley Dumplings:

  • 2 cups biscuit mix
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup boiled water
  • 1/4 cup boiled STEAM WHISTLE PILSNER
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