Irish Stew

Updated April 27, 2016

There are many versions of this dish, all of which are based on lamb and potatoes. This one is a hearty casserole. Good with a fresh green vegetable, such as kale or broccoli.

Makes6 servings

Preparation Time20 min

Cooking Time1 hr

Cooking MethodStewing



Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together, Game Day

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free



Taste and TextureMeaty, Rich, Savory

Type of DishCasserole


  • 3 large baking potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 lb (900g) boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1½ in (3.5cm) pieces
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 3 carrots, thickly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Large sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2½ cups lamb stock or beef stock


Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Beginning and ending with potatoes, layer the lamb, onions, and carrots in a large, heavy casserole, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Tuck in the thyme and bay leaf. Add the stock and cover.

Bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 30–40 minutes more, until the potatoes are browned and the meat is very tender. Serve hot.

For Beef and Potato Stew, substitute boneless beef chuck for the lamb.


Prepare ahead: The stew can be made up to 2 days ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat thoroughly in the oven before serving.



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The cheaper the meat, the more authentic and in my mind the better. Go for mutton or stewing beef, will plenty of fat and connective tissue. Perl barley can be added for an extra thickness, only used in certain areas of Ireland. 1. Slice and parboil your potatoes. 2. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then seal in a frying pan at high temp [3 minutes each side, you want lovely brown bits for flavour on the surface of the meat and the pan]. 3. Add the meat to the casserole dish 4. Quickly add the carrots and onion to the same frying pan for about 2 minutes to fry in the fat/oil from the meat, then add to the casserole dish. 5. the frying pan making sure to add all the lovely fat and flavoursome burnt bits to the casserole dish 6. Add the stock & herbs [parsley, thyme, rosemary, 1 bay leaf if desired], stir well to 7. Keep the slices of potato for the top layer, so they steam as the rest cooks. More of a traditional aspect. Also, make some of them very small cubes so they break down and thicken the sauce. 8. Cover and cook for 2-3 hours [slow cooking is the traditional method, you want the mean *falling* apart when touched by the fork. 9.Uncover, stir and cook for a further 1-2 hours, added more stock when necessary if looking a little dry,

This recipe is much better is you use mutton, and cheaper as well, also adding pearl barley gives it a lovely taste and texture.

Absolutely divine. Holy moly. Highly recommended. So simple. The meat came out extremely tender. We browned this for about 10 minutes so the potatoes looked the way they do in the photo.


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