We’re extending a big welcome to author J.C. Long today as he tours the web to introduce his newest book, Hearts in Ireland, a part of Dreamspinner Press’s World of Love series. If you’re looking for a mouthwatering new recipe, look no further than right here.
Dia dhuit, readers of The Novel Approach! I’m J. C. Long, and I’m here with my latest stop on my Hearts in Ireland Blog Tour! Thanks to the great people here at The Novel Approach for allowing me to be here today.
Food is a massive staple in any culture, and held very dear by the people there. The same goes for the people of Ireland. My family all immigrated from Ireland a generation ago, so the culture and the food was transported with them, and has become as key a component in my life as hamburgers. So, in order to help you get a feel of the culture and the significance of the food, I’m going to teach you how to make a great Irish stew the way my Gran taught me (this is time consuming; it’s not a quick-fix recipe!).
First and foremost we need our stock. You can by lamb stock, I’m sure, but making it is way more fun. However, it takes about 6 hours. If you don’t have 6 hours, then buy it, by all means.
What you’ll need:
1 lb of lamb bones
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 sprig of thyme
4 teaspoons black pepper
1 clove of garlic
(optional) 1 carrot, peeled
So first off put the lamb bones in your stockpot, add enough cold water to barely cover the bones (about 12 cups, which will yield 5 cups of stock or so). Bring that to a boil and make sure you do a good job skimming the froth.
As it’s boiling, add the other ingredients. Bring to a simmer with the other ingredients, keeping it on low heat for about 6 hours, or until you’re happy with the taste. Be aware that it’s stronger than beef stock, so it might not require the same amount of time depending on your taste (I like it rich, so I usually do it right at the 6 hours).
Strain out the bones and veggies and boom—you’ve got stock.
Now, on to the stew!
The truly traditional stew is mutton meat, usually chops, onions, potatoes and the stock. The end. For my Gran’s recipe you need:
4 cups lamb stock (remember how rich it is, so do it to taste)
2 cups water
salt/pepper (to taste)
8 potatoes (not baby ones)
and 2 medium-sized onions
The making is super basic—
Cut the meat into smaller pieces.
Peel the potatoes and then quarter them
Chop the onion
In your pot, add the 4 cups of lamb stock and the 2 cups of water
Add the potatoes and meat and bring to a bowl.
Once boiling, add the onion, salt and pepper, and turn down to a simmer. Keep on heat until meat and vegetables are cooked (usually takes about 60-70 minutes).
There you have it, a delicious and authentic Irish stew recipe! Note that you can add carrots to this, as well—and some people even add cabbage (shudder) but once you do that it’s just stew and it’s not so traditional—at least not for my family.
Fun fact—Irish stew dates back to at least the late 1700s! I hope you enjoy the delicious, hearty stew and pick up a copy of Hearts in Ireland today! You can eat the stew while reading 😉
About the Book
When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….
Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
About the Author
J.C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an Army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his lifelong involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States, J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that.
His favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing, and Korean food (not in that order… okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts, and wishing he were writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.