Lamb neck makes this Irish stew delicious!
As winter approaches, the slow cooker can provide so much in the way of easy comfort food. As soon as the leaves start falling, my slow cooker is on most of the time. So much so, I'm scanning the supermarket aisles for what ingredients would make a great slow cooker dish!
For some reason, I started thinking about a Christening me and Mr Mean attended years ago. We only had one small mini-Mean then and I had just found out I was pregnant again. We went to the Stalybridge Buffet Bar for post-Christening food and drinks. Now if you're not familiar with the Stalybridge Buffet Bar - let me tell you a bit about it. It's one of the very few remaining Victorian station buffet bars located in Cheshire and it still has it's original marble-topped bar, back fittings and open fire. Anyway, it's a quaint traditional bar - oozing old-school charm.
I think I was about seven weeks pregnant - just on the cusp of rotten morning sickness and falling asleep every other hour. We hadn't told anyone I was pregnant either, because it was before 12 weeks. By the time the food was served - I could have eaten old socks. We got a steaming bowl of stew, and I remember it being the most delicious stew I had ever tasted - I could have eaten three portions of that stew. It was the simplest dish, but still etched in my memory for it's comforting pleasure. Maybe it was the hormones!
So, thinking about slow cooker dishes - I thought I'd try to recreate that delicious Stalybridge stew!
I usually always make my stews with braising steak - but I came across lamb neck in Waitrose and I don't think I'll make it with anything else again. So tasty.
At the moment I'm trying to shoehorn a many veg into the kids as I can, so not only does this stew have chopped-up carrots, it has grated carrots and grated courgettes. The grated veg nearly disappear - but give this stew a lovely texture and extra taste.