Irish stew

Irish stew

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(43 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 2 hrs


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: per serving

  • kcal627
  • fat30g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs44g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre0g
  • protein49g
  • salt2.13g
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  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 200g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 900g stewing lamb, cut into large chunks



    A lamb is a sheep that is under one year old, and is known for its delicate flavour and tender…

  • 5 medium onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 5 carrot, sliced into chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 3 bay leaf
  • small bunch thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 100g pearl barley
  • 850ml lamb stock
  • 6 medium potato, cut into chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • small knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 3 spring onion, finely sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…


  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.

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Comments (57)

Jultomten's picture

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

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


selinabeana's picture

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.

sampancheri's picture

This has become one of my favourite recipes. I cook it in the slow cooker and have so far done it with beef rather than lamb and added a can of stout for extra taste.

cobralouise's picture

I made this for the whole family this week. It was very tasty and satisfying, just wish lamb was cheaper to buy !! Thought it could do with more carrot, other than that, clean plates all round wanting seconds. My 4 yr old loved it too.

smurfmurf's picture

could I leave out the barley dont have any!!!Or replace it with anything else??

Pee's picture

This is really tasty and easy to make, luckily for my hubby and I, the day I chose to make it, I had the hangover from hell and wasn't capable of recalculating the ingredients to serve 2 rather than 6 so the rest went in the freezer and we got to have enjoy it again twice more.... will definately do the same again (minus the hangover of course)

peterkevan's picture

Very tasty and easy to make

cherrrris's picture

Hubby made this on Saturday - yummy all round!

cliffson's picture

Boy o boy went down a treat,8 for lunch in the conservatory and 4 bottles of blossom hill red.nice sunny march day isn't life wonderful. nothing left all gone coments from our guests WE HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN Yes we will with this loverly menu.

thebrightonian's picture

My Auntie Grace used to cook a fine "Irish Stew". I have sometimes caught an unexpected "whiff" that took me right back (not so much to the food) but to where I was then and to who I was "with" then. I feel sad that food has now become just another platform for empty chat about its ingredients and its presentation.Calculated, on the one part, to re-inforce and promote the career oppurtunities,and the future incomes of essentially unproductive "media studies graduates" and, on the other, to bolster the financial interests of an equally unproductive and, mainly, cynically inclined media. Food and its careful preparation is about love, about care - that is what made it a warm memory for me.

johndeturl's picture

I used neck of lamb on the bone and cooked it in the oven gas 3 for 4 hours, excellent, my family loved it

andy01's picture

Melt in the mouth gorgeousness.
Lamb at its most mouthwatering best!!!!

rowley123's picture

This was nice enough but we felt that the smoked bacon overpowered the dish. I feel that the "welsh cawl" recipe on this site works far better

mcmurtry1's picture

Fab-u-lous. I made this with a leg of lamb that I had gotten in the reduced isle of Asda, cut into cubes, left out the bacon and cooked it on the hob instead of the oven and it was wonderful. Clean plates all round. This has been added to my midweek staples.

sarahlobley's picture

DELICIOUS! And very hearty! Will be making it again very soon!

claire587's picture

This is such a good recipe and I love the way you can make it so rustic. I made this in the slow cooker but I used sage instead of thyme and I used lamb steaks. I also mixed some cornflour with water and added that to make it really thick because I don't eat barley. I bought those really small carrots you can get and put them in whole. Left it in slow cooker for hours and hours on low and the family loved it.

debbienyc's picture

this is a great recipe - fool proof agrees with all the comments about the next day, if you can wait that long to eat it!


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