Recipe courtesy of Giana Ferguson

Irish Stew

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min


2 medium-sized onions, chopped

Oil, for frying

1-ounce butter

1 sprig dried thyme

2 1/2 pounds best end of lamb neck, cut into large pieces

7 carrots, chopped lengthways into 2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons pearl barley

5 cups Chicken Stock, recipe follows

Salt (recommended: Fleur du Sel)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)

12 medium potatoes

1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped

1 bunch chives

Serving suggestion: Herb Butter, recipe follows


Chicken carcass

1 onion

4 cups water

3 stalks celery, roughly chopped

Bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herb Butter:

1 stick butter

1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped

1 small bunch chives, finely chopped

1 sprig thyme


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the onions in oil and butter, on medium-high heat until they are translucent. Add the dried thyme and stir. Add the lamb and brown on a high heat to seal in juices. Add carrots, and pearl barley. Pour in the Chicken Stock so that it almost covers the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and add Bouquet garni. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours, being careful not to boil. Place potatoes on top of the stew, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the meat is falling beautifully off the bones and the potatoes are fork tender.
  2. Serve the stew in large flat soup bowls, and drizzle Herb Butter over the potatoes or garnish with parsley and chives.


  1. Preheat the stockpot. Combine ingredients in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Then let it cool down and skim off the fat.

Herb Butter:

  1. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add parsley, chives and thyme.
Let's Get Cooking!

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14 Reviews

Frank l.

Just to clarify, there are two very close recipes for Irish lamb Stew, the more recent one featured Lamb Shanks..... Titled "Lamb Shank Stew with Russet Potatos on Top." Check it out under that heading where a whole show was dedicated to it....... Just a note on Traditional Irish Lamb Stew. It is never made with any vegetables included. It consists of a Layer of sliced Russet Potatoes at the bottom of a dutch oven followed by a layer of sliced onion, followed by a lamb layer, season with 2 tsps of kosher salt and 2 tsps of "White Pepper" and an final upper layer of potatoes again. Add either chicken stock or water to just below the top layer of potatoes , Cover top layer with foil, bring to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer on the stove top for up to 90 mins, Then in the final 30 mins take 2 Tbs of corn starch mixed in water and add to stew,,,,,,, and allow to thicken for 30 mins........ Serve with your preferred veggies on a bowl,,,,,,,,,

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