Irish stew

Irish stew

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(40 ratings)

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs

Skill level

Easy

Servings

Serves 6

The trick with this classic one-pot is to use a cheaper cut of meat, which means you’ll skimp on price but not quality

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
627
protein
49g
carbs
44g
fat
30g
saturates
14g
fibre
0g
sugar
11g
salt
2.13g

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 900g stewing lamb, cut into large chunks
  • 5 medium onions, sliced
  • 5 carrots, sliced into chunks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • small bunch thyme
  • 100g pearl barley
  • 850ml lamb stock
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  • small knob of butter
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced

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Method

  1. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole. Sizzle the bacon for 4 mins until crisp. Turn up the heat, then cook the lamb for 6 mins until brown. Remove the meats with a slotted spoon. Add the onions, carrots and herbs to the pan, then cook for about 5 mins until softened. Return the meat to the pan, stir in the pearl barley, pour over the stock, then bring to a simmer.
  2. Sit the chunks of potato on top of the stew, cover, then braise in the oven, undisturbed, for about 1½ hrs until the potatoes are soft and the meat is tender. The stew can now be chilled and kept in the fridge for 2 days, then reheated in a low oven or on top of the stove. Remove from the oven, dot the potatoes with butter, scatter with the spring onions and serve scooped straight from the dish.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2009

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Comments

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ShaniceGFR's picture

Are you unsure on making this dish? JUST MAKE IT!
I wasn't sure whether to make this dish after reading previous comments but I'm glad I did. I forgot the barley but it was delicious without it anyway. When putting the onions in I also used mixed herbs, all purpose seasoning and some Worcestershire Sauce (only a few drops). I used lamb oxo cubes for the stock, I didn't have a measuring jug so I had to estimate, I used 5 oxo cubes in total and served with tiger bread. I will definitely be making this meal (with my own little take) again.

Bigspecks's picture

Really impressed with this recipe. I had never used pearl barley or successfully cooked lamb tender enough before. I soaked the parley for a couple of hours before. Did panic when it still didn't thicken after 3 hours - but realised I hadnt added potatoes so par-boiled potatoes them and it thickened like a dream with no need for thickening agent. A couple of tips : Cook long and on low heat. After draining the par-boiled spuds put back in pan, cover with lid and shake a bit (to release a load of starch) before adding to stew. 10 out of 10.

cheshire dame's picture

Generally, I'm not a fan of stews or casseroles however it was lovely. As there only two of us I halved the ingredients and also tailored it slightly in that I par boiled the potatoes and carrots whilst the lamb and bacon were cooking. I then put everything in the slow cooker for 3 hours. I served it in large rimmed pasta/soup bowls with green vegetables to make it look more professional!

moc222's picture

Delicious. Wasn't sure if this was my kind of dish. Promised I'd make an Irish Stew for my husband for St Paddys Day. We both loved it. Used two thick slices of leg of lamb (cubed) as these were the same price as lamb cubes at the butchers. Will make again.

blucas's picture

Smoked bacon has no place in Irish stew. What ever this dish is, it is not Irish stew!

ginamyatt's picture

Be warned what a disaster I used this recipe to make a110 portions for an Irish night using £160.00 worth of lamb the following morning I took it out of the fridge and it was all fermenting so I had to throw it all away and remake it. What a waste of time and money.

bethanygrotto's picture
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I hated this recipe, sorry but this is probably the worst thing I have cooked from this website, it was thin, watery and very disappointing. I can't cook very well so tend to follow the recipes to the letter, and I have read all of the other comments, tips etc...added a little marmite as mentioned for richness but it was horrible. Greasy, even after I chilled it and removed the solid fat off the top. This is not one that I would make again ever as lamb is expensive, even stewing cuts, I simply hated it I am sorry :-(

carenscookin's picture

*****
I've made this a couple of times now but I cook the potatoes separately in salted water and add them at the end they taste much better that way. I also cook the stew the day before I need it and scrape any lamb fat off the top before I reheat it and I add extra stock.

eraket's picture

I made it with beef stew and added strips of lamb fat cutted from lamb chops (there is usually too much fat on it) for the taste. 1/4 can of Irish Stout beer (instead of barley) 3/2 carrots and parsnip, pepper and beef stock cubes (instead of lamb stock)
Jummie!!

louisehm's picture

Add a little Worcestershire Sauce to spike it up a little.

sjwolfenden's picture
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This was unbelievably good. Can't recommend it highly enough. I usually add a little beer and marmite to make it a little richer.

alicewrigley's picture
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Delicious!

rgmdh1nd's picture
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Have made this recipe twice now and loved by all the family. Second time left out the bacon but still delicious and a lot cheaper than roasting a joint. Leftovers the next day were just as good.

esoldra's picture
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Lovely and have tried this, but do think that it is somewhat deceptive in ingredients and appearance as I am Irish and this was something I ate and enjoyed as opposed to the stuff i have shirked at my whole life

laragoodman's picture
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Delicious!

laragoodman's picture
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Delicious!

jowedin's picture
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Made this for a dinnerparty last night and it was a huge success. I followed the tip to let it stand 24h begore. Used a little bit more potatoes (Charlotte potatoes) and a little bit more lamb (1100g) and my shop was out of fresh thyme so used dried instead. It was absolutely delicious and so easy to prepare. Plus no effort at all on the dinner night so I could spend more time with my guests. Will definately be making again.

colleenc's picture
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I convinced my husband to make this. He made it veg by substituting the lamb with Field Roast brand apple sage sausages and the bacon with Tofurkey brand Maple Tempeh "Bacon", crumbled into really small pieces, so as not to overwhelm the flavour of the stew.

What a great recipe!

nataliemduffy's picture
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Horrible!

selinabeana's picture
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This is a fantastic dish! I used neck of lamb, on the bone, and made enough for five. Chop off any fatty bits first and, as a slow cooker won't be big enough, use a big stock pot. I went out for the afternoon and cooked it on 100 for 5 hours and then turned it up for an hour to 180. I added dumplings for the last 30 minutes. Other than the cut of meat I followed the recipe exactly and it was lovely.

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