Irish stew

Irish stew

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(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


  • 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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Sep, 2012
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.
20th Jul, 2012
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.
21st Feb, 2012
could I leave out the barley dont have any!!!Or replace it with anything else??
Pee's picture
7th Dec, 2011
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)
7th May, 2011
Very tasty and easy to make
24th Mar, 2011
Hubby made this on Saturday - yummy all round!
17th Mar, 2011
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.
16th Mar, 2011
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.
9th Mar, 2011
I used neck of lamb on the bone and cooked it in the oven gas 3 for 4 hours, excellent, my family loved it
1st Mar, 2011
Melt in the mouth gorgeousness. Lamb at its most mouthwatering best!!!!


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