Main Courses

Main Course Meals – Cruises and otherwise…

main course meals - German Maultaschen
German Maultaschen – Think “German Ravioli”  Photo by Andrea Wyner









German Maultaschen

The name maultaschen is distinctive enough. It can translate as “mouth bags” or “feedbags.” But there’s an even more striking nickname for these ravioli-like pouches stuffed with minced and smoked meats, mushrooms, onions, parsley, and breadcrumbs. In the Swabian region of southern Germany, they’re called herrgottbescheisserle, which means, roughly, “things you want to hide from Mister God.”

Legend has it that maultaschen originated at the Maulbronn Monastery, about 28 miles northwest of Stuttgart, in the 13th century. During Lent, when the monks were supposed to abstain from meat, they folded bits of ground pork and beef in with their vegetables and herbs and hid the mixture inside palm-size pasta dumplings. The reasoning: God couldn’t see the meat and punish them for breaking their fast.

Read the full article by Ella Lawrence at

How to Make Traditional Maultaschen

(SERVES 2 to 4)
Based on a recipe by Herbert Rösch


3½ tbsp butter
1 white onion, diced
½ bunch of parsley, chopped
½ pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
2 ounces bacon, chopped
3 eggs, beaten
2 slices of white toast, crumbled
A pinch each of salt, pepper, and nutmeg
One large sheet of pasta dough, rolled thin and cut into 16 squares, 2 x 2 inches each
1 egg yolk, beaten
2 quarts beef broth or bouillon


1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter over low heat.
2. Sauté the onion and all but a few tablespoons of parsley in the butter until the onion is soft and transparent.
3. In a bowl, mix the onion and parsley with the meat, beaten eggs, and all but a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and season the mixture with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
4. Place a heaping spoonful of the filling mixture in the center of each 2-inch square so that there is a ¾-inch space between the filling and each edge of the dough.
5. With a pastry brush, paint the edges of the dough squares with egg yolk.
6. Lay a second 2-inch-square piece of dough over the top of the filling on each square and pinch the edges together well.
7. In a large pot, bring the broth or bouillon to a boil, carefully add the maultaschen, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pouches float to the surface.
8. Serve the maultaschen in a shallow bowl of broth.
9. Alternatively, drain the maultaschen, brown them on both sides in a pan with butter along with a few tablespoons of breadcrumbs, and serve garnished with fresh parsley and the butter-browned breadcrumbs.

 A typical serving is 2 to 4 maultaschen per person. If there are any left over, cut them into 1-inch slices the next morning and fry the pieces in butter or bacon fat. Stir in beaten eggs and cook all together for a traditional German “scramble.”

German Fried Potatoes

Fried Potatoes German Style

Credit: Denise Wright

These German style fried potatoes are pure comfort food. Not really a main course but perfect for breakfast or as a side dish with any meal. Also goes great with a beer!
 Servings 4


  • 4 pieces thick bacon
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 3 cups potatoes cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, add bacon and fry until crispy.
  2. At the same time, add your potato cubes to a microwaveable dish and microwave for 5 minutes.
  3. When the bacon is done, take it out of the pan and add the diced onion.
  4. Saute for 1 minute and then add your potatoes.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes or more until the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Add back crumbled bacon and mix through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.

Colcannon – An Essential Irish Recipe 

main course meals - colcannon



Colcannon is an essential Irish potato dish. Its unique and simple recipe has become popular around the world. It normally includes chopped kale or green cabbage mixed with hot, floury mashed potatoes.
The word colcannon is from the Gaelic “cal ceannann,” which literally means “white-headed cabbage.”


4 lbs potatoes (‘old’ potatoes or russet potatoes are best, waxy potatoes won’t do)1 head of green cabbage or kale
1 cup ( 7 fl oz, 240 ml) milk (or cream)
1 stick (4oz, 120g) butter, divided into three parts
4-5 scallions (green onions), chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper
Fresh Parsley or chives

Peel potatoes and put them in a pot to boil.
While the potatoes are cooking, remove the core from the cabbage, slice the leaves thinly, and put into a large saucepan. Cover with boiling water from the kettle and keep at a slow rolling boil until the cabbage is just wilted and has turned a darker green. This can take anything from 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the cabbage. Test it and don’t let it overcook – if anything it should be slightly under-cooked.
When the cabbage is cooked, drain it well, squeeze to get any excess moisture out, then return to the saucepan. Add 1/3 of the butter and cover. Leave it covered and in a warm place, but not on a burner, with the butter melting gently into it while you continue.
When the potatoes are soft, drain the water and return the potatoes to the saucepan. With the drained potatoes in, set the burner to low, leaving the lid off so that any excess moisture can evaporate. When they are perfectly dry, add the milk to the saucepan, along with a third of the butter and the chopped scallions (if you are using them). Allow the milk to warm but not boil. It is about right when the butter has fully melted and the pot is starting to steam.
With a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes thoroughly into the butter & milk mixture. Do NOT pass through a ricer or, worse, beat in a mixer as it will make the potatoes gluey and disgusting.
Mix the cabbage thoroughly through the mashed potato.
Before serving, season with a little salt and sprinkle with fresh parsley or chives. Most importantly,  make a well in the center of the mound of potato and put the last third of the butter in there to melt.

For an alternate Colcannon recipe with a Thanksgiving twist, go to:  Thanksgiving Irish Sweet Potato Colcannon recipe

Sweet Potato Colcannon





Moroccan Sweet Potato Stew  –                 Windstar Cruises

main course meals - sweet potato stew

By TasteForCooking, April 10, 2016, In Cruise Line Recipes

Windstar Cruises recipe for incredible dining begins with the freshest   ingredients which are purchased from the local markets, wherever   possible.

2 cups chopped onion
3 cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon dried cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon dried cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 sweet potatoes (3 1/2 pounds) peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes 6 cups
1 large red bell pepper seeded and coarsely chopped 1-1/2 cup
1 eggplant cubed 3 cups
3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 cups canned garbanzo beans rinsed and drained
3 cups canned ready-cut tomatoes
3/4 cup raisins
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Combine onions and garlic in a large saucepan and cook covered over low heat until tender, about 10 minutes or until the onion is translucent, adding a little water if necessary to prevent scorching. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon, curry, cumin, nutmeg and red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, and broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, tomatoes and raisins, and simmer covered until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 35 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro before serving.

Fettuccine Alfredo

 main course meals - fettuccine alfredo

This simple classic is from Princess Cruises Master Chef Alfredo Marzi.

  •  1 lb egg noodles
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Parmesan cheese baskets:

2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

Fettuccine Alfredo preparation:

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Boil ¾ cup of the cream and remove from heat. Combine egg yolks with remaining ¼ cup cream to form a liaison. (liaison is a fancy cooking term for a thickening agent made from egg yolk and cream) Add ¼ cup of the boiled cream to the liaison. Stir and then combine liaison with the rest of the cream. Add Parmesan cheese, adjust seasoning.

If necessary, reheat pasta in boiling, salted water. Pour sauce over drained pasta.

(I would like to suggest tossing in some peeled shrimp sauteed in butter with a touch of garlic – Bob)

Parmesan Cheese Basket preparation:

Place a non-stick omelet pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan evenly with approximately ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. Cook until the color changes to golden.

Flip the cheese over and cook until golden. Remove the cheese from the pan and place over a mold form or over the bottom of a bowl to create a dome shape. Let cool.

Serve the fettuccine in the basket! Garnish with some coarse cracked pepper and scallions.


Try this delicious Belgian Beef Stew from Viking Cruise Lines and check out their website for more fantastic recipes from all over the world.

main course meals - carbonnade

Carbonnade à la Flamande

Winter weather is the perfect excuse to make slow-cooked, hearty meals that raise everyone’s spirits. Unlike French beef stews made with wine, this Flemish carbonnade relies on the deep, dark flavor of Belgian abbey-style beer. It’s the perfect winter antidote. The key to making great Carbonnade à la Flamande is the choice of Belgian ale. We recommend using Oud Bruin, an aged Belgian beer also known as a Flemish Brown. If you can’t get hold of this, try a stout or porter.


  • 2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter, unsalted
  • 1 1/2 C pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 lg carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 4 C low sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1 T light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 (2.6 oz) package beef demi-glace
  • 1 1/2 C Oud Bruin-style beer
  • 2 C small red potatoes, cut in half
  • 8 oz button mushrooms, cut in half
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 T flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar, optional


Season beef with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large, heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add beef in batches; sear on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add butter and reduce heat to medium. Add onions and carrots and sauté until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Whisk together 1 C of beef broth with brown sugar, tomato paste and demi-glace. Add to vegetables, stirring to combine. Add beer and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Return beef to pan along with potatoes, mushrooms, thyme and remaining beef broth. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until beef is very tender. Before serving, stir in parsley and cider vinegar to taste.

  • Makes 6-8 servings.

Carnival Broiled Lobster Tail

main course meals - lobster








  • Lobster tail 12 oz – 10ea
  • Potato baking – 10ea
  • Potato Yukon Gold – 1lb
  • Lemons – 2 ea
  • Limes – 4 ea cut in wedges
  • Tomato cherry red – 10ea
  • Tomato cherry yellow – 10ea
  • Chives chopped – 2 tablespoon
  • Parsley chopped Italian – 1 tablespoon
  • Heavy cream – 4 tablespoon
  • Red onions chopped – 1 cup
  • Rosemary – 10 stems
  • Butter – 4 tablespoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Salt sea or kosher – for garnish
  • Crushed black pepper – to taste
  • Tarragon Butter – to brush
  • Citrus Drawn butter – as accompaniment


  • Bake baking potato (with skin) until just cooked. Peel when still hot and dice.
  • Finely chop lemon rind and reserve the lemon juice.
  • Sauté red onions in butter, add lemon juice and chopped rind.
  • Add diced potato, cream and chopped chives. Season.
  • Lightly roast the Cherry tomatoes and sauté with butter and chopped parsley. Season
  • Cut lobster into two (with shell). Detach meat from the shell before cooking; skewer the tails with bamboo skewers to retain their shape.
  • Season lobsters with salt & pepper. Cook over the grill. (Not sure why they call it broiled – this is grilled)

This makes 10 servings or less…how many lobster tails can you eat?

Viking Cruise Lines Wiener Schnitzel with Parsley Butter Potatoes

main course meals - wiener schnitzel

This classic recipe comes to us from Austrian Master Chef Toni Mörwald, proprietor of Vienna’s  Michelin-starred restaurants Relais & Châteaux. It is traditional, simple to make, and delicious.



  • 4 veal cutlets, 1/2-inch thick
  • Salt & pepper
  • Light oil (such as sunflower oil)
  • 1/4 C flour
  • 2 whole med-size eggs, beaten
  • 1 C breadcrumbs

Melted butter and/or lard (a mixture of half and half is ideal) sufficient to cover your frying pan to a depth of 1/3-1/2 an inch


  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs sm new potatoes
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 2 T fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Pepper to taste



Gently pound veal cutlets with a meat mallet to make them very thin and flat, about 1/4-inch thick. (For ease of cleanup, you can place each cutlet between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper first; if you do not have a meat mallet, use a heavy pan.) Sprinkle flattened cutlets with salt and pepper and rub with light oil.

Set up 3 shallow dishes, 1 with flour, 1 with beaten eggs and 1 with breadcrumbs. Coat each cutlet well first with flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs.

In a heavy frying pan, melt butter and/or lard. Carefully place cutlets in pan. Melted fat must cover cutlets well. Do not crowd pan (cook 2 at a time). Agitate pan gently as meat is cooking to ensure cutlets do not stick to pan. When cutlets float in oil, breadcrumb coating forms a light, puffy crust around meat and will not retain too much of cooking fat. Cook 3-4 minutes over medium heat until cutlets begin to brown; turn over and cook another minute or 2 until both sides are golden brown. Remove from fat and place on a paper towel to drain. Salt finished cutlets lightly.


Boil potatoes in salted water for about 20 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain and place them back on stove for a minute or 2, uncovered to steam. Peel, slice into small wedges and put in a serving dish. Melt butter and pour over potatoes; sprinkle with chopped parsley and pepper to taste.
Serve cutlets with potatoes and garnish with lemon slices. Goes well with a sweet white wine such as a muscatel.

  • Makes 4 servings.

main course meals - Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten

Viking Cruise Lines – Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten

Wiener Zwiebelrostbraten might not roll off the tongue, but it will melt in your mouth. The name, which is pronounced VEE-ner TZVEE-bell-roast-brotten, literally means “Viennese Roast Beef.” Very popular in Austria and Bavaria, this recipe enhances the beef flavor through oven braising. The dish is traditionally served with roast potatoes or buttered parsley potatoes; you can garnish with crispy fried onions if you like.


  • 4 T butter
  • 6 med onions, peeled & thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 6 8-oz boneless beef sirloin steaks, pounded 1/4-inch thick
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 4 C beef stock or consommé, fresh or canned, cooked down (reduced) to 2 C
  • 1/2 C sour cream


In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until light brown; add paprika and cook for another minute. Remove onions from pan and set aside. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Add and heat vegetable oil in same skillet and brown steaks on both sides. Turn off heat and add reduced beef stock to steaks. Arrange grilled onions on top of steaks and cover skillet with a lid. Place into oven and braise at 350°F until tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

To serve, arrange steaks on a pre-warmed serving platter and scoop onions on top. Heat remaining sauce in skillet on stove. Stir in sour cream and immediately remove from heat and pour sauce over steaks and serve immediately.

Cook time: 2-2 1/2 hours

Makes 6 servings.

main course meals - Hungarian Goulash

Viking – Hungarian Goulash

This style of goulash originated with Hungary’s herdsmen and quickly spread throughout Europe. It is a soup, but its rich combination of ingredients makes it a meal on its own. The csipetke are pasta that are a welcome addition to this flavorful dish.



  • 2 med onions, chopped
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • dash of salt
  • 2 T sweet paprika
  • 1 T hot paprika
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs boneless chuck, trimmed of fat; cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 3 lg bay leaves
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded & sliced
  • 1 lg tomato, peeled & chopped into large chunks
  • 3 med carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 2 med turnips, peeled & sliced
  • 1 whole garlic, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 2 lg boiling potatoes, peeled & sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1 egg
  • dash of salt
  • up to 1/4 C flour, plus additional for dusting



In a large stockpot with a lid, lightly sauté onions in vegetable oil with a dash of salt; cover onions and leave on low heat until tender. Remove onions from heat; add paprika and stir. Add beef, peppercorns, bay leaves, bell pepper and tomato. Add water to cover and simmer over low heat until meat is soft and tender, about 1 1/2 hours.


Break egg into a bowl and whisk. Remove 2/3 of egg and add a dash of salt to remaining egg. Gradually add flour, kneading with your hands until you have a firm, smooth ball of dough (exact amount of flour will vary). Dust a plate with additional flour to prevent sticking; pinch off pea-sized dumplings from dough ball, roll each between your fingers and place on floured plate.
Uncover pot and check to see if the meat is tender; if not, continue simmering for another few minutes and check again. Once meat is tender, add carrots, turnips, garlic, caraway and water to cover (or more if you prefer a more liquid consistency). After 10 minutes, add potatoes. Continue simmering 20 more minutes, or until all ingredients are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Add csipetke and cook 5 more minutes; remove bay leaves before serving.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Salmon or Sea Bass in Crispy Potato Crust on Sauteed Spring Onions

“Chef’s Galley” where passengers are taught by the chef how to prepare their meal just prior to dining. The new restaurant will feature both Cunard chefs and guest appearances by world-famous chefs sponsored by Gourmet magazine.
Chef’s Galley – located in the ship’s innovative King’s Court dining pavilion –will have a mirrored work station so that diners can view their meal preparation and observe the chef’s skills before enjoying the fruits of his/her labours.
Here Queen Mary 2’s Executive Chef Karl Winkler gives us a taste of things to come and something you can try at home.

1 large potato peeled and sliced
4 x 5 oz salmon or sea bass fillet
4 tbsp olive oil Basil leaves fresh ( for garnish and salmon)
1 cup chopped basil (for sauce)
1 cup cream 1 cup fish stock
1 cup dry white wine shallots diced 4oz butter
1 bunch spring onions cut in to strips
4 oz shitake mushrooms sliced
2 tomatoes peeled and diced
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Putting it all together:

Cut potato into thin slices and lay them into clarified butter
Season fish with salt and pepper and arrange 2 potato slices on a parchment paper
Place 2 basil leaves and a salmon fillet on top and roll it in the paper (this can be prepared in advance and refrigerated)
Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan and fry the salmon (in the parchment paper?)

Basil Sauce

In a small sauce pot melt the butter and saute the chopped shallots.
Add the white wine, fish stock, cream and reduce by 1/3.
Season with salt and pepper and add the basil and mix in a blender.
Fold in the diced tomatoes, spring onions and shitake mushrooms Saute in 2 tbsp. olive oil
Season with salt and pepper
Place sauteed spring onions and shitake mushrooms on a large plate, place the salmon on top and spoon the basil Nage around, garnish with fried Yam, Leek julienne and a fresh basil leave.
This dish can also be served with salad and no sauce.


The Tides’ Steamed Bajan Flying Fish                                Braised in Tomato Creole Sauce

main course meals - Bajan flying fish


  • 12 flying fish (or any meaty white fish, such as cod or sea bass)
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large lime
  • 2 tbsp chopped seasoning
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter


“Chopped seasoning” in its fresh form is generally a trinity of onion, bell pepper and celery. A dried version might also include carrots, parsley and garlic. Another good substitute is Barbados’ famous Bajan seasoning — a somewhat wet rub of garlic, thyme, onion, marjoram and pepper — or green seasoning.

  1. Marinate fish in lime and salt for five minutes.
  2. Rinse off fish and season with chopped seasoning.
  3. Sautee the vegetables in a saucepan with butter for five minutes on a medium heat.
  4. Add remaining ingredients; add salt to taste and simmer for six minutes.
  5. Add fish and cook for three minutes or until cooked.
  6. Serve with rice and peas. Serves 6.

I have never heard of scorpion fish but, this sounds delicious…

Chef Angel Choez, Executive Chef aboard the M/Y Grace of Quasar Expeditions provides us with this recipe for the Captain’s Table:

Pan-Roasted Speckled Scorpionfish in Lemon Butter & Capers Sauce (Pez Brujo en mantequilla de limón y alcaparras)


Preparation time: 30 minutes.
Servings: 4 to 6

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
2 speckled scorpionfish fillets (about 2 ½ lbs) – can also use halibut or sea bass
Salt and pepper to taste
1 shallot (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1/2 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon (zest and juice)
2 tablespoons dill or parsley (chopped)

1. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a pan.
2. Season the scorpionfish with salt and pepper.
3. Add the fish to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side.
4. Set the fish aside.
5. Add the shallots to the pan and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan.
8. Simmer to reduce the sauce a bit.
9. Turn off the heat and add the capers, butter, lemon and dill or parsley.

Serve the fish over a bed of fetuccini pasta with a little olive oil. And top the fish with the lemon butter and capers sauce.

For more information about Quasar Expeditions visit:

Jameson & Guinness Irish Stew

Follow this link for a distinctly Irish take on a beef stew… Jameson & Guinness Irish Stew

Credit: The Irish Post on Facebook

Guinness Steak and Cheese Pie

guinness steak cheese pie
IrishCentral Staff @IrishCentral

This pie is a real winner from the Jamie Oliver recipe collection!

As it uses store-bought puff pastry, it’s quick to prepare, and you can make the filling the day before if you want.




  • olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 30g (1 oz) butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 4 field mushrooms, peeled and sliced *
  • 1kg (2 lb 3 oz) brisket of beef or stewing beef, cut into 2cm (3/4 in) cubes
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves picked and chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 440ml (15 oz) can of Guinness (no lager, please!)
  • 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 200g (7 oz) freshly grated Cheddar cheese
  • 500g (17.6 oz) best-quality ready-made all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • *field mushrooms are a large variety of white button mushrooms – may substitute portobello


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In a large ovenproof pan, heat a tablespoon full of olive oil on a low heat. Add onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat up, add the garlic, butter, carrots and celery and scatter in the chopped mushrooms. Mix everything together well before stirring in the beef, rosemary, a pinch of salt and a level teaspoon of pepper.

Fry for 3 or 4 minutes, then pour in the Guinness, stir in the flour and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, cover the pan with a lid and place in the preheated oven for about 1½ hours.

Remove the pan from the oven and give the stew a stir. Put it back into the oven and continue to cook it for another hour, or until the meat is very tender and the stew is rich, dark and thick.

A perfect pie filling needs to be robust, so if it’s still quite liquid, heat on the stove top and reduce until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in half the cheese, then season carefully and leave to cool slightly.

Cut about a third of the pastry off the block. Dust a clean work surface with flour and roll both pieces of pastry out evenly with a floured rolling pin to the thickness of one-quarter of an inch. Butter a pie dish, then line with the larger sheet, leaving the edges dangling over the side. Tip the stew into your lined dish and even it out before sprinkling over the remaining cheese. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little beaten egg.

Cut the other rolled sheet of pastry to fit the top of the pie dish and criss-cross it lightly with a sharp knife. Place it over the top of the pie and fold the overhanging pastry on to the pastry lid to make it look nice and rustic. Brush the top with beaten egg, then bake the pie directly on the bottom of the oven for 45 minutes, until the pastry is cooked, puffed and golden. Delicious served simply with peas. Serves 4 to 6.

Love Irish recipes? Visit the IrishCentral recipes page or like IrishCentral’s Recipes Facebook page and never miss a recipe again!