Irish Lamb Chili With Scotch

Executive chef Jerry Snider of Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla., shares a stout variation on a lamb chili hailing from Ireland, keeping it authentic with tangy Irish cheddar cheese and soda bread.

3 pounds ground lamb
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, diced
1 can (16 ounces) cooked kidney beans, drained
1 can (16 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup Scotch whisky
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups lamb stock
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 teaspoon water)
1/2 tablespoon salt

Accompaniments:
1/2 pound Irish cheddar cheese, grated
1 loaf Irish soda bread, sliced 

In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute the lamb until brown. Drain well and remove the lamb from the pot. Saute the garlic and onions in the pot for about 5 minutes with some reserved lamb fat. Add the diced bell peppers and carrots and lightly brown for about 5 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except cornstarch slurry, salt, and accompaniments. 

Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 

Stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the chili. Season with salt and top with grated Irish cheddar. Serve immediately with warm Irish soda bread.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

CHEF’S TIP: “Use a cast-iron pot just like the cowboys did because it provides even heat and even browning.” 

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