Irish Stew

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Winter is here… and it’s time for stews and casseroles!
This is a favourite of mine. Hubby and I both love lamb, and this is such a lovely easy recipe. I always use the slow cooker for this, and the longer it cooks for, the better it tastes! You can of course do this in the oven.

You can use any cut of lamb – I usually make this with the offcuts from a side of lamb (the ones you can’t do much else with) or the lamb shoulder chops. If your lamb is really fatty, you can skim the fat from the top once its cooked.

Irish Stew

1.25kg lamb neck chops
1/2 cup plain flour
3 brown onions, chopped
1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups boiling water
3 beef stock cubes, crumbled
1 cup chopped parsley
mint leaves, to serve

Cut chops in half. Place flour in a plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Place chops in bag and shake well to coat. Transfer chops to a plate. Reserve flour. (At this point, I usually brown the chops in a frypan – this adds a lovely flavour to the stew, but is not necessary). Preheat oven to 130C. Place half the onions, potato and carrots in a large casserole dish. Top with half the chops. Place remaining vegetables and chops on top in layers. Whisk reserved flour, tomato paste, and 2 tablespoons cold water in a large jug until well combined. Slowly add boiling water, whisking constantly. Stir in stock cubes and parsley. Pour mixture over vegies and lamb. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours. Sprinkle with mint to serve.

For the slow cooker – Place all vegetables in the slow cooker and top with the lamb before pouring over the stock mixture. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours before turning temp down to LOW. Cook for another 4-8 hours.

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Banana cake

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Life has been a little busy this year and its been ages since I’ve posted anything…
Thought I’d get back in the game and post a favourite recipe of mine – Banana bread. I usually bake this as a whole cake in a loaf pan, but picked up these cute paper cake cups and tried them out.
This is a fantastic way of using up those overripe bananas.

Banana bread

1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 very ripe bananas
60g butter (softened)
1 cup white sugar
2 cups SR flour
2 eggs

Combine milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place peeled bananas in a large bowl and mash them. Add sugar, sifted flour, lightly beaten eggs, softened butter & milk and lemon juice mix. Mix together until smooth. Place in a well-greased cake tin. Bake in a slow oven for 1 3/4 hours or until cooked. Cool in tin for 10mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. I usually don’t ice this, but it is lovely with a cream cheese frosting for something special!
Variation – add some chopped walnuts to the mix.

If making into smaller cakes, you will need to adjust the cooking time.