Irish stew was made up of lamb, potatoes, onions, and parsley. Lamb pieces such as the neckbone, shank and other trimmings made up the base of the stock. They still provided flavor after a long simmering. Adding the root veggies provided more flavor and thickened the stew as well.
Todays Irish Stew may be like this
1 whole chicken ( a 3-4 lb. fryer )
1 coarse chopped onion or 1 tblspoon dried onion flakes
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves unpeeled
3 leeks (or 2 onions), chopped
6 medium carrots cut into pennies
5 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Peppercorns
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 whole cloves
Salt and pepper
3 quarts water
1/4 cup barley
2 dried plums or prunes diced
Stew the chicken with the onion bay leaves and garlic in a large soup pot for 45 minutes.
Strain Stock into another pot and reserve.
After the chicken cools a bit pick the meat, chop and reserve.
Cook all the remaining ingredients except barley until vegetables are almost tender, 30-60 minutes. Add barley , prunes and cook 30 minutes until barley is tender
Add the Chicken meat and simmer 10 minutes.