Made with the traditional lamb, this is a warm addition to a St. Patrick's Day celebration.
2 lbs large (3"-diameter) white or golden beets, unpeeled but trimmed of greens and tips
6 tbsp kosher salt
8 cup water
2 cup cauliflower florets (cut into 1" pieces)
5 cup whole peeled and trimmed cipollini onions
2 cup halved radishes (stem and root ends removed)
3/4 cup ground turmeric
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
4 cup Champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 8 oz lamb shoulder chops
2 tbsp canola oil
2 yellow onions, quartered lengthwise
2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2" pieces
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large fresh bay leaf
2 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 cup water
3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Step 1: Cover the beets with cold water in a heavy saucepan and boil until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain them in a colander and let them cool just until you can handle them. Peel them warm (the skin slides right off if they're warm), then cut them into 3/4" cubes. You should have about 3 cups.
Step 2: Place the salt and 4 cups of the water in a 2-gallon zip-top bag. Seal the bag and massage it a few times to help dissolve the salt. Add the beets, cauliflower, onions and radishes to the bag along with the remaining 4 cups of water. Seal the bag again, pressing out any air, so that the vegetables are completely submerged. Place the bag in a large bowl (to stabilize it) and let the vegetables sit on the counter for several hours, or refrigerate overnight. When ready to use, drain the vegetables in a colander, rinse them in cold water and drain again.
Step 3: In a large flameproof casserole, whisk together the turmeric, flour, sugar, mustard and 1 cup of the vinegar to make a paste. Add the remaining 3 cups of vinegar and whisk until smooth. Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil and cook until it thickens, about 3 minutes, whisking continually to keep lumps from forming. Add the vegetables, stirring to coat them, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Step 1: Sprinkle salt and pepper liberally over both sides of the lamb chops. In a flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Brown both sides of the lamb chops well (2 - 3 minutes per side), working in 2 batches so the pot is not crowded. Transfer the browned lamb to a plate and set aside.
Step 2: Blot the oil from the pot with a wad of paper towels. Add the onions, carrots, garlic and bay leaf. Top the vegetables with the chops and any collected juices on their plate. Add the potatoes and water.
Step 3: Bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and let the chops simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. Adjust the salt and pepper seasoning to taste.
Step 4: Stir in the chopped thyme and serve immediately, with piccalilli on the side. The stew can be made the day before and gently reheated on the stove or in the oven at 300°F for 30 minutes.
See more recipes from My Irish Table (2014, Ten Speed Press).
Reprinted with permission from My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn (2014, Ten Speed Press).