Slow-cooked Irish stew

Slow-cooked Irish stew

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(4 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 8 hrs

Skill level



Serves 6

Middle neck or scrag end of lamb are flavoursome cuts and perfect for braising. This traditional casserole contains filling pearl barley, too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Easily halved
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 200g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 900g cheap stewing lamb like middle neck or scrag (ask at your butcher counter), cut into large chunks
  • small bunch thyme
  • 3 onions, thickly sliced
  • 5 carrots, cut into big chunks
  • 6 medium potatoes, cut into big chunks
  • 700ml lamb stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 85g pearl barley
  • 1 large leek, washed and cut into chunks
  • small knob of butter

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  1. Heat the slow cooker if necessary, then heat the oil in a frying pan. Sizzle the bacon until crisp, tip into the slow-cooker pot, then brown the chunks of lamb in the pan. Transfer to the slow-cooker pot along with the thyme, onions, carrots, potatoes, stock, bay leaves and enough water to cover the lamb. Cover and cook on Low for 7 hrs.
  2. Stir in the pearl barley and leek, and cook on High for 1 hr more until the pearl barley is tender.
  3. Stir in the butter, season and serve scooped straight from the dish.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2014

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khjackso's picture

Given the ingredients, I was wondering where the 11g of sugar indicated comes from....carrots?

lea lea's picture

I don't know if it's best to put the veg at the bottom of the slow cooker with the meat on top.

MzDaisyMoo's picture

Quick question - does the pearl barley go into the stew uncooked?

TP's picture
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Really easy to prepare. The ingredient amounts were too much for the size of my slow cooker, so I ended up using a large chili pot on an electric stove top, set to low. The cooking time was a little quicker then in the slow cooker but the results were fantastic. Pearl barley is hard to get in my area, so I used brown rice. It worked out well, reducing the amount of excess liquid. Really delicious!

suzyplatt's picture

this is in my slow cooker as i write this, its smells absolutely delicious, have some nice, fresh crusty bread to go with it!

joanneeland's picture
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also, forgot to add, I put a bit of cornflour mixed with water in during the last half hour, just to thicken the sauce a little.

joanneeland's picture
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I made this in my slow cooker for a St Patrick's feast. Absolutely beautiful - everyone had seconds. I put it in my slow cooker on high at 11am and it was ready at 5.30pm. I did use steak pieces instead of lamb just due to cost and I also didn't add in pearl barley or leeks at the end as I didn't have any. It was still great. I thought I'd have some left over, but it was all gone - someone even clean the pot out with a buttery bit of bread - musta been good!