Irish stew

Irish stew

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(6 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 40 mins Plus 2 hours 30 minutes to make the stock

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 6

Celebrate St Patrick's Day with Richard Corrigan's Irish stew - it's big on flavour, even bigger if you make it ahead and quite literally, let it stew...

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 3 middle necks of lamb (about 1.8kg/4lb), filleted and boned - you need to end up with about 950g/2lb 2oz pure meat
  • 650g floury potatoes, such as King Edward
  • 650g waxy potatoes, such as Desirée or Pentland Javelin
  • 1kg carrots
  • 2 onions
  • ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • chopped fresh chives and parsley, to garnish

For the stock

  • bones from the lamb
  • 1 large carrot, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • ½ celery stick, quartered
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large sprigs of thyme
  • a generous sprig of parsley
  • 6 black peppercorns, lightly crushed

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  1. Make the stock. Put the lamb bones in a large heavy-based saucepan with the carrot, onion, celery, herbs, peppercorns and 1 tsp salt. Pour in 3 litres/5 1⁄4 pints water. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 2 hours.
  2. Strain the stock through a fine sieve to remove bones and vegetables, then return to the pan. Boil until reduced to about 1.3 litres/21⁄4 pints. (You can make the stock the day before – keep it in a covered container in the fridge, or freeze it for up to 3 months.)
  3. Make the stew. Cut the lamb into large chunks. Peel the potatoes (keeping both types separate) and cut into pieces of similar size to the meat. Put the two different types in separate bowls of water to keep them white. Peel the carrots and cut into slightly smaller pieces. Slice the onions into thick rings.
  4. Put the lamb in a large, clean saucepan. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, skimming off all the impurities from the surface. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the floury potatoes, carrots and onions. Season generously and simmer for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the waxy potatoes and thyme. Simmer until the lamb is tender (15-20 minutes). Take off the heat, cover (don’t stir) and leave for 15 minutes. (You can make this up to 2 days ahead and keep in the fridge). Garnish and serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2003

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mrsboo87's picture

Not really Irish stew but nice.

krispyrat's picture

Brilliant easy one pot dish, extraordinary comfort food indeed, My wife was born and brought up in rural Ireland; Co Kilkenny; Her comment was favourable but in the days when she was at home as she still calls it, there was a much greater preponderance of potato content. The use of very floury potatoes, which are quite unatainable in this country, create the thickening element, my effort therefore, appreciated by the gathering, was not quite as expected. Every cooking houewife in Ireland has their own recipe which of course is considered to be the only way to do the job. There will never be a concensus on this matter and I don't ever expect one.

jul34es's picture

had this for tea tonight for my sons 20th birthday and it was delicious and very tasy

scottishlynne's picture

I made this using lamb steaks and have used fillet of lamb. This is absolutely delicious and image some healthy dumplings and added these 20 minutes before the end. This is a real comforting meal even naughtier if you serve with crusty bread.

Absolutely delicious. Another great recipe.

adeholder's picture
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such a simple and delightful dish to make that is perfect for these harsh winter months.

nilserb's picture

Lornac your stew sounds devine but there is absolutely nothing IRISH about it.

sadiethompson2's picture

really enjoyed this Irish stew will defiantly make it oftten

milkyjohn's picture

Did this on St. Patrick's day, it went down really well with all the family. With a few cans of Guiness after, perfect.

juliee43's picture

i love dumplings i will put with this as well.....

johnomck's picture

easy as to make done it for a dinner party in oz and everyone loved it.

johnomck's picture

easy as to make done it for a dinner party in oz and everyone loved it.

lornacynthia's picture

Proper Irish stew...... I cook it for 5 children so you can change weights etc to suit

2lb good quality minced beef
4-6 carrots chopped
half to one onion
mushrooms if desired
gravy granuals/beef oxo cubes

roll mince into balls and brown in saucepan. drain off excess fat (shouldnt be much if good quality mince)

Add the chopped carrots, onion, mushrooms and stir into mince.

Make up your beef stock and add to the hot sauce pan. let this cook on high for just a few minutes, then add the potatoes. turn down heat and cook slowly until all veg and potatoes are cooked. Tastes great the next day as the stock has thickened.

Simply as that!!!

Let me know

vrog's picture
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Most butchers will cut middle neck for you. If they don't, I would suggest asking for lamb for slow stewing. They may offer shoulder which would be fine - just better quality than you need.

magicmuffinjo's picture

Frank - Not all us Irish make stew is made with Lamb, its up to your taste. Try beef instead.

allmurphys's picture

Find it difficult to source neck of lamb in my s119HS area. Any suggestions?

tempest's picture
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I made this for my partner (who is Irish) as a St Patrick's Day treat. He was so impressed that I have been making it ever since. I did cheat a little and used lamb stock cubes (good quality ones) instead of making the stock from scratch but it is still fantastic and goes down a storm with everyone I cook it for. It's definately best if you can let it go cold and then reheat it later as this seems to thicken the sauce.

lucinda15's picture
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I was hesitant at first as my partner loves lamb but I am not that keen. However, it was delicious & I served it with homemade soda bread. I had some leftover (as I made loads) and it was even better the day after and the soda bread was great for toast. I will do this again for sure.

gillian1's picture
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I loved this when we tested it in the office. I'm planning to make Irish stew at the weekend as the freezer is full of middle neck of lamb.. which I butchered on my recent butchery course!