Lamb stew (Irish stew) dates from at least the late 1700's and is traditionally one of the national dishes of Ireland. The traditional stew contained only tough cuts of mutton (or mature sheep), onions, and potatoes. It is often a stew made of leftovers and simmered for hours.
For St. Patrick's Day, I made a light version of traditional Irish stew. I choose lean cuts of meat so there is little skimming required and less fat overall. Unfortunately, sheep are not as plentiful in America as they are in Ireland, so it is a bit of a splurge to cook a good quality lamb stew, but it's worth it! Some Americans are not used to the taste of lamb, or have never tried it, but because of my Middle Eastern heritage, I grew up with lamb skewers and love the taste. It can be a bit gamey for first-timers, so it often cooked with rosemary, garlic, or parsley to balance out the taste. This stew showcases lamb at its best! If it's your first time tasting lamb, try it in a marinade to ease your way into it.
Lamb also contains some amount of unsaturated (omega-3) fatty acids, which are a staple in the Mediterranean diet.