Traditional Irish stew

Neven Maguire tradition Irish stew

“My mother, Vera, loved Irish stew and this began life as one of her recipes. Over the years I have changed it a few times but one thing has always remained the same. She used carrots and I always use carrots. I never tire of a bowl of steaming hot Irish stew, but it’s the attention to detail that makes this meal one of the world’s great classics. Ask your local craft butcher for some neck or shoulder cuts. If you make it the day before and warm it up, your meal will be more tender. We serve a small portion of this stew in the restaurant in a dish featuring four versions of cooked lamb and it is always popular.” Neven Maguire

Serves 6

900g (2lb) boneless lamb neck, trimmed and cut into cubes

1 litre (1¾ pints) chicken stock (page 226)

50g (2oz) pearl barley, washed

225g (8oz) potatoes, cut into chunks

225g (8oz) carrots, thickly sliced

225g (8oz) leeks, well-trimmed and thickly sliced

225g (8oz) baby pearl onions or small shallots, peeled

2 fresh thyme sprigs

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish

To serve:


  1. Place the lamb in a large, heavy-based pan and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then skimoff any scum from the surface and stir in the barley. Reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes,until slightly reduced and the lamb is almost tender.
  2. Add the potatoes to the lamb with the carrots, leeks, baby pearl onions and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lamb and vegetables are completely tender but still holding their shape. Season to taste.
  3. To serve, transfer the stew into a warmed casserole dish and scatter over the parsley. Have a dish of colcannon alongside and allow everyone to help themselves.

Per serving 480kcals, 27.1g fat (12.6g saturated), 28.3g carbs (4.3g sugars), 31.4g protein, 3.9g fibre, 0.757g sodium

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