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Irish Stew

1 tb Vegetable oil
1 lb 6 oz lean boneless lamb, cut into 1 1/2" squares 1/2" thick (or boneless chuck)
1 md Onion, chopped
3 c Low sodium chicken broth
1/2 ts Dried thyme, crumbled
1 Bay leaf
6 5 oz whole new red potatoes
15 oz Small onions, peeled
1 c Irish ale or beer
1 ts Salt
2 tb Cornstarch
Chopped parsley
6 1 oz sliced Italian bread (optional)

1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat 1/2 of the oil. Add 1/2 of the lamb or beef and cook until well browned on one side, 5-7 min. Stir and cook 1 minute longer; remove meat and set aside. Add the remaining oil the lamb (or beef) and the chopped onion to the pan and cook until browned, about 8-10 min. Return the first batch of meat to the pan.

2. Add broth and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add thyme and bay leaf; lower heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.

3. Add potatoes, onions, ale and salt. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, 30-40 minutes.

4. To thicken stew, add cornstarch to 1/4 cup cold water in a small bowl; stir until smooth. Add to simmering stew; stir gently until thickened. Garnish with parsley; serve with bread.

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