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

    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 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)

angelafield's picture

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

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

dancingbunny's picture

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

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

Lovely, the barley pearls give a nice twist to the stew

juliegoor's picture

Didn't have any lamb so used braising steak. Swapped thyme for marjoram and added a splash of worcestershire sauce. Lovely texture, very filling, will try again when I have some lamb!

jenmednick's picture

Yum Yum!! This was really tasty!

mrskiedis's picture

This recipe is definately going to be a regular in our house. Easy to make and delicious, freezes well to.

juliee43's picture

i fancy to put the dumpling as well

carolannpearson's picture

I'm tempted to try because of the great reviews! But, can I make this with chicken or beef? We're not big fans of lamb.

cawinfield's picture

I skipped the bacon but casserole still turned out wonderfully flavoursome. The potatoes in particular take on a lovely taste. Highly recommended and very very easy too!

bfcpaul's picture

Made this a couple of times and we've loved it! Theres normally enough leftover for our 8 month old daughter to have whizzed up in the blender for lunch the next day too!

sophiekitten's picture

A complete please my 4 boys and Husband with a fab 1 pot meal is a first!! Even my little girl who is one liked it, so needless to say i've cooked it a few times now and it is definitely on my 'menu' ! It even looked the same as the picture in the magazine which was a little bonus for me , as it's usually like serving in a canteen in my house at mealtimes.....presentation is not always top of the list ;-)

foodie is me's picture

Absolutely mouthwatering!

squashedtomatoe's picture

This was so simple to make and wonderfully tasty. We put it in the oven and disappeared to the pub on St Patrick's Day for a couple of hours, a little longer than it needed but it was fine. Took some for my mum-in law the next day and she rang singing it's praises. Will definitely be making again.

karinaya's picture

Great recipe, very tasty and easy to make, even the kids wolfed it down, will definately make again

hewettg's picture

We tried this at the weekend with excellent results. Loads of flavour. Was even better the following day!!! It was so good that my local pub is puting it on the menu for St Patricks day!!


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