Irish stew

Clodagh McKenna shares the recipe for her mums hearty stew, made the traditional way with mutton and potatoes
By Clodagh McKenna
Irish stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the stock

  • 1 lamb bone
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 onion, peeled
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 bouquet garni

For the stew

  • 15 g butter
  • 900 g stewing mutton, cut into shunks
  • 4 carrots, finely chopped
  • 8 small potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • buttered crusty bread, to serve

For the beurre manié (optional)

  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g plain flour

Tips and Suggestions

You can use a bone or two leftover from roast lamb to make the stock if liked.


1. For the stock: put all the ingredients in a large pan and fill with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for as long as possible to bring out the flavours at least 3 hours is ideal. Strain the stock and keep warm.

2. For the stew: place a flameproof casserole dish over a high heat and melt the butter. Add the mutton, season with pepper and stir until the meat is browned.

3. Tip in the carrots, onion and potatoes and season again with salt and pepper.

4. Add the thyme leaves and then pour over the hot stock. Simmer gently for at least half an hour, or until the meat is tender and cooked through. The longer you can cook the stew, the better.

5. For the beurre manié: if the juices from the stew appear too thin for the sauce, thicken them with some beurre manié. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour to make a paste. Ladle some of the juices from the stew into a separate small saucepan and slowly whisk in the beurre manié, then pour the thickened gravy back into the stew and stir.

6. Serve the stew hot with crusty bread and butter.

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