Irish Lamb & Barley Stew in Patty Shells

A hearty Irish stew, presented in an edible puff-pastry bowl, becomes a pretty teatime savory for St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish Lamb & Barley Stew in Patty Shells
Yield: 8 servings • Preparation: 20 minutes • Cook: 20 to 23 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • ¼ cup minced celery
  • ¼ cup finely diced carrot
  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup cooked pearl barley
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 8 frozen puff pastry shells*
  • Garnish: fresh thyme sprigs
  1. In a medium nonstick sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high heat until butter melts. Add olive oil. Add onion, celery, carrots, lamb, garlic salt, and pepper to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until lamb is browned and vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, thyme, and barley. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Marsala.†
  3. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, stirring until smooth. Add to lamb stew, stirring and cooking until mixture is thickened and broth is clear, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Bake pastry shells according to package directions.
  5. Fill pastry shells with warm lamb stew.
  6. Garnish each serving with a fresh thyme sprig, if desired.
  7. Serve immediately.
*For testing purposes, we used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Shells.
†At this point, mixture can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a day. When ready to serve, heat to boiling, and then reduce heat to low. Thicken with cornstarch mixture.

 From Tea Celebrations, published 2012

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