- 4 lamb chops (see below ingredients for more details and alternatives)
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 medium onions
- Sprig of fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 450 ml / ¾ pint of lamb stock (hot water and two lamb stock cubes)
- 50g / 2oz butter
- 1 tablespoon of Pearl Barley (optional)
- 50g / 2oz flour
- Salt and pepper
Irish Stew, This authentic Irish Stew recipe doesn’t take much preparation time but it makes a really tasty meal.
We have prepared it here in the ‘authentic’ way using lamb chops but we also prepared it later with chunks of lamb loin which made a very good Irish Stew. Beef is another alternative to lamb with excellent results. The vegetables used are traditionally onion, potato and carrots but almost any vegetable can be used as well.
Trim some of the fat from from each of the chops and put the fat in a medium heated frying pan. This will melt some of the lamb fat for use in the next couple of steps.
Set the oven on at 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4.
Chop up the onions into rough chunks. Peel the potatoes and cut each into 4 parts. Scrape the carrots then cut into larger than normal chunks. Click on the picture to enlarge it for an idea of how big to chop the vegetables.
Irish Stew is a rustic menu and part of its charm is that the ingredients are kept in large chunks. Saves on preparation time as well!
After 5 to 10 minutes, remove the fatty pieces from the frying pan and throw them away. Fry each lamb chop in the fat for about three minutes at a medium temperature – turn half way through.
Enlarge the picture on the left for an idea of how browned the lamb chops should be. Put the lamb chops in the casserole dish and fry the carrots and onions in the remaining fat for two minutes – turn frequently.
Put the onions and carrots over the lamb chops in the casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Add the Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins), the pearl barley and the lamb stock.
Finally add the potatoes on top, don’t mix them in with the other ingredients. The aim is to let them be steam cooked over the other ingredients. Add some more salt and pepper to season the potatoes. Put the casserole (covered) in the pre-heated oven and cook for 1 hour.
Roux is a mix of 50 / 50 butter and flour which will thicken the gravy in the casserole dish. It can be used to thicken all sorts of sauces as well.
Melt the butter on a medium heat in a pan, then whisk (or vigorously fork in) the flour. Cook for 2 minutes whisking all the time to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Take the casserole dish from the oven and pour off most of the gravy into the pan of roux (be careful, the casserole dish will be hot). Mix in the thyme.
Quickly blend the gravy and roux together with your whisk or fork. Add the thickened gravy back into the casserole and scatter the top with the parsley. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Put the casserole dish (covered) back in the oven for ten minutes. Serve onto hot plates. No other vegetables are needed, they are all cooked and ready in the one casserole dish!
Any red wine will go well with Irish Stew, but a glass of Guinness is probably the best accompaniment of all!
We used lamb chops (rack end chops to be specific). The good thing about chops is that they have some bone on them which enhances the flavour of the Irish Stew as it cooks. However, chopped up lamb is a very good alternative.