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Irish Lamb Stew

Scooter's picture

I read a post earlier this month for a recipe for this time honored traditional recipe. I am third generation Irish, and my mom and grandma made this recipe at least once a month. I have no precise measurements, because she never had. It is pure cooking alchemy:


1 Leg of Lamb, boned and diced into 1" cubes. Save bones.

1-3 packages of lamb neck bones or cheap shoulder chops for broth

2-3 onions, cut up

4-8 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/4 cup flour

2-3 lbs of Red Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1" cubes

4-8 stalks of celery, diced

1 package of carrots, diced

Salt and Pepper to taste.

Add lamb bones, garlic, and onions to very large stock pot. Cover with 2-3 gals of cold water, and slowly bring to boil. Skim off crud, and reduce to simmer. Simmer until stock is reduced to 1/3rd in amount, about 6-12 hours. Strain in collander. Strain a second time through dishrag or cheesecloth. Discard bones and meat. Refridgerate overnight, and skim off fat.

The next day, warm broth over medium heat. Brown meat in skillet with favorie fat (oil, butter margerine). Add some flour to coat lamb. Cook until meat is browned and brown gravy appears.

Remove from heat and add to broth. Guage meat so stew will not be too pastey, nor too soupy. The meat and gravy will thicken it quite nicely. Add some cornstarch or remove some broth if it is too thin. Hold back some broth if it is too thick, and add.

Add potatoes and celery and cook broth over medium until tender, about 20 minutes. Add carrots and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Salt and Pepper to taste.

The mix can be again thickened or thinned at this point with more or less vegis and your left over broth. Indeed, the whole ratio of meat to potatoes; vegis to the other stuff is quite subjective, and is generally done over the pot.

She also made Irish Lamb Soup, by making more broth, adding no flour to the meat, and substituting barley for the potatoes.

The broth is absoultely nectar from the gods!!! I hope you folks try this. It is delish!

aussiechef's picture

(post #25645, reply #1 of 3)

This brings back memories. Have you emailed that cook who originally asked for it to let her know you've posted this? I was a bit daunted by the "authentic" bit. One has to duck for cover when claiming authenticity.

Scooter's picture

(post #25645, reply #2 of 3)

Actually, didn't claim it was authentic, only 3 generations. I watched my mom make this stuff in the 50's. Heck, I suppose she could have got it from better homes and gardens, but she claimed it was her mom's recipe.

She also told me that while one can use cheaper grades of lamb, it is a real mess, trying to cube the stuff, and for $20, one can buy a whole leg of lamb, have the butcher cube it for you, (I only cube the better part of it, and have a small roast out of the rest) The leg bones also have the most marrow, which makes the broth nice and creamy.

Its a lot of fun to make, as there are no exact portions. I actually like the soup better, as the barley adds a nice nutty flavor.

Carolina's picture

(post #25645, reply #3 of 3)

Scooter: Your recipe sounded so good that it was a "print" for me, and me being a Scot, your word on it being authentic was good enough.