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.
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.