O’Hanlon’s Stew

This is a 16th Century Irish style stew recipe. It’s pretty simple, straightforward and cooks extremely quickly for a stew. In addition to being very hearty and tasty! This stew would really stick to your ribs on a stormy night at sea and give you the strength you need to raid a ship.

Ingredients: 4 portions. Use a deep stewpan
300 g of pork stew meat cut into cubes
300 g of beef stew meat cut into cubes
1 bottle of fine porter
2 – 3 slices of dark bread cut into dices
3 – 4 potatoes*
3 dl of cream
50 g of butter

Fry pork, beef and half a glass of porter. After about 5 minutes add the sliced potatoes. When the potatoes starts to turn golden, add cream, the rest of the porter and the dark bread and maybe a little salt and pepper. Let it cook for about 10 – 15 minutes.

*This recipe mentioned that the addition of potatoes is not very historically accurate, but makes the stew taste better. I agree on the taste front, as I am a huge fan of the tuber. In regards to historical accuracy, potatoes are native to South America and were first encountered by Spanish Conquistadors in Peru around 1532 so it is unlikely that a 16th Century stew from Ireland would feature the potato as an ingredient. Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have been the first to bring the potato to Ireland and planted it at his estate near Cork in 1589, an alternate theory is that when the Spanish Armada crashed on the West Coast of Ireland in 1588, some potatoes washed a shore and a national sensation was born. Whichever is correct, it is reasonable to believe it was not until the 17th Century that they would have been regularly utilized in Irish Cuisine. However by the “Golden Age of Piracy” (1650-1730) they would be a standard supply item on sailing ships since they were so perfectly suited to the circumstances of sailors, as those who ate them did not suffer from the dreaded scurvy, they keep very well for long periods and are extremely filling.

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