Irish Stew Like Me Mammy Used To Make

As a child growing up in Ireland my parents had to work hard to feed a growing family and Irish Stew was often simmering away on the stove. Here is my version of my mum's recipe.


1. Take your lamb and cut the meat from the bones and trim the fat, (this would be used for the stock if producing this yourself), and cut into cubes.

2. Heat a large pan and melt the butter.

3. Add the lamb and brown all over. Then remove from pan.

4. Coursely chop the onions and fry in the pan for a few minutes.

5. Add the stock and bring to the boil.

6. Return the lamb to the pan, add the thyme, salt and pepper, bring to a simmer and leave. Allow about an hour for the lamb to really become tender.

7. In the mean time coursely chop the carrots and cut the potatoes into large chunks. Then add to the pan and allow to simmer for another hour.

8. Add the barley at this stage (optional)

9. Towards the end of the cooking time add some chopped parsley.

10. After a total cooking time of two hours or so, serve into bowls and serve with Irish Wheaten bread (available from most supermarkets) and enjoy.

Hints 'n' Tips

This is a great recipe for a simple but amazingly tasty dish. You don't need any real cooking skills and the quantities are pretty much flexible. It will be really hard to get it wrong.

N.B.For best result make your own stock (I'll add a recipe to my list), I think it is much better than using a cube, but if you are pushed for time a cube (not beef) will do.

The dish originates in Ireland and was traditionally eaten by the working classes, using cheaper cuts of lamb, but slow cooked to be come delicious and tender.


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Thanks for sharing this Tintin! I made a version of this last night with what I had to hand. Some neck of lamb, swede and butternut squash. Not authentic, but I'd run out of carrots and potato! It was absolutely yum, neck of lamb is seriously underrated. Loving your recipes :) Do you have more Irish recipes to share? Would love a good colcannon recipe if you have one?
Hi Couteaux,

I'm not sure that Irish Stew without certain ingredients can still be called Irish Stew :-)

However more that happy to add my Colcannon recipe, which is very simple potato and cabbage dish.

But no substituting of either major ingredient :-)

Tell me what you think.

Cheers, Chris (aka Tintin)
Great! Look forward to seeing it :o)

Now, you sure I can't substitute potato for peas? ;o)

Honest, next time I promise to stick to the recipe!

Thanks again.

I agree in that we only make it on lamb neck. Adds great flavour, extremely tender and doesn't add a lot of fat to the dish. My mum also included a parsnip with the potato and carrot which didn't impact flavour a lot. A great dish thrown into the crock pot for a ready made meal when we get home from work.
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