Irish stew

WHETHER or not you can trace a few roots back to Ireland, this rich, robust Irish classic will please any family.


1.5kg cubed lamb (from neck, shin or shoulder)

Water, to cover

1 bouquet garni (muslin sachet containing parsley, thyme and bay leaf)

300g onions, chopped

180g leeks, chopped

50g celery, chopped (optional)

90g turnips, peeled and cubed

250g carrots, cubed

400g potatoes, peeled and cubed

500ml (2 cups) lamb or beef stock

75g cabbage, shredded

Small bunch fresh parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Worcestershire sauce, to taste


Place the lamb in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then drain and rinse the lamb. (I like adding the bones to this initial cooking process for flavour, then removing them.)

Return the rinsed lamb cubes to the pot with the bouquet garni, onions, leeks, celery, turnips, carrots and 50g potatoes.

Pour over the stock, add enough water to cover all the ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour, regularly skimming off any foam and fat from the surface. Add the remaining potatoes and continue cooking for about 25 minutes.

Remove the bouquet garni and stir in the cabbage and parsley. Season to taste and add Worcestershire sauce, according to your preference. Serve hot with soda bread or a nice country loaf. And a pint of Guinness, of course.

Published in Sunday Times 2012 


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