Lamb with damsons and rosemary dumplings

Herb dumplings and fresh damsons add a touch of luxury to a flavourful lamb stew in Lotte Duncan's hearty recipe
By Lotte Duncan
Lamb with damsons and rosemary dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 1 tbsp dripping, or olive oil
  • 900g diced leg of lamb, trimmed of fat
  • 12baby onions, peeled and left whole
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled, cored and cut into 2.5cm chunks
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 570 ml brown stock
  • sprig of parsley
  • sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 225 g damsons, halved and stoned
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper

For the dumplings:

  • 225 g self-raising flour
  • 150 g suet
  • large sprig of rosemary, leaves picked
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper


1. Heat a flameproof casserole and put in the dripping. When it starts to smoke add in the diced lamb in batches.

2. Fry the lamb until browned, only browning a little at a time as too much meat in the pan at one time will bring down the temperature and start to release the water in the meat.

3. When each piece of meat is sufficiently browned, take it out and set it aside, keeping warm.

4. Once all the meat is browned, add in the onions, carrots and parsnips and fry more slowly until they are just coloured.

5. Add in the brown sugar, mixing well.

6. When the vegetables are golden brown, stir in the flour and cook it for a couple of minutes.

7. Pour in the stock and bring to boiling point, return the meat to the casserole and add in the parsley, thyme and bay leaf.

8. Cover and simmer for 1 hour until the meat is tender.

9. Now make the dumplings. Mix the flour, suet and the rosemary leaves together in a bowl with a generous amount of salt and freshly ground pepper. Add just enough cold water to make a dough which is firm and moist but not sticky.

10. Uncover the lamb casserole and stir in the damsons.

11. Roll the dumpling dough into balls and place on top of the lamb. Place in the oven uncovered to let the dumplings cook for 15 minutes.

12. After 15 minutes, turn the dumplings and cook for a further 15 minutes until golden brown.

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