Irish stew

Irish stew

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(57 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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 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 1 year old; between 1 and 2 years old you will find it sold as…

  • 5 medium onions, sliced



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

  • 5 carrots, sliced into chunks



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

  • 3 bay leaves
  • 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 potatoes, cut into chunks



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

  • small knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 3 spring onions, 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Sam Comgall's picture
Sam Comgall
27th Apr, 2013
This was unbelievably good. Can't recommend it highly enough. I usually add a little beer and marmite to make it a little richer.
8th Apr, 2013
1st Apr, 2013
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.
1st Apr, 2013
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
4th Feb, 2013
4th Feb, 2013
20th Jan, 2013
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.
8th Nov, 2012
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!
2nd Nov, 2012
1st Nov, 2012
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.


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?