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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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
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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
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Very tasty and easy to make

cherrrris's picture

Hubby made this on Saturday - yummy all round!

cliffson's picture
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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
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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
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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!

angelafield's picture
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This is absolutely delicious, I did leave out the bacon in this recipe and I don't think it was lacking in flavour. I reduced the recipe slightly to make enough to serve four people and I added a leek as I had less onions than the recipe needed.

Browned off the meat and cooked all of this in the slow-cooker on low with about 450ml of liquid to serve 4 people to 500g lamb. It was delicious and made the house smell wonderful when I got home from work!

Well done Barney!

susannam's picture
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Very good, lovely way to use barley. Real lovely winter dish and easy to make. Will be making again!!

dancingbunny's picture
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I made mine in the slow cooker and it was lovely and tender. I browned the meats ans then put everything in the slow cooker except the barley, and left it overnight. Came out delicious! I left the barley out completely in the end as I wasn't sure what happens when you slow cook it, so I made some dumplings instead. Really nice and filling on such a cold winter's day.

richwilson59's picture
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Well, this went really badly for me.....!!

I bought scrag end from my butcher and I felt really confident of a good result. Here's what went wrong:

I couldn't fit it all in my casserole dish!

When I took it out of the oven it had really dried out - the pearl barley had soaked up all the stock. It was more like a risotto.

Scrag end is horrible stuff....It has a massive bone in the middle and, whilst all the fat does "melt down" there's an awful lot of tough stuff that doesn't. I ended up pulling the meat out of the stew and then pulling all the nice bits of meat off with a fork and stirring it back in. Also the large amount of fat made the stew very fatty!!

Sorry to be so negative!

prinjm's picture
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Lovely, the barley pearls give a nice twist to the stew

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