Irish stew is a comfort food classic, and so easy to make too. This simple stew recipe uses cheap cuts of mutton or lamb, and requires no different pans. It’s as straightforward as putting everything for the Irish stew in one large pot, covering it with water, seasoning well and leaving it all to come together in the oven over a few hours. The low and slow cooking time ensures the meat comes out beautifully tender. This recipe comes from an Irish family friend of one of our recipe team, who got the recipe from her mother – somehow that feels very apt for a traditional home-cooked classic. The herby dumpling topping adds another level of seasoning to this hearty dish, and makes it even more filling.
- 600g stewing mutton or lamb
- 2tbsp flour
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 600g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 600g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 bay leaves
- For the dumplings:
- 200g butter
- 350g self-raising flour
- 3tbsp fresh chopped herbs, we used rosemary, parsley and chives
Preheat the oven to 140C, Gas Mark 1.
Dust the meat with flour and season well. Add the oil to a large pan and brown the meat, over a medium heat. Add the remaining ingredients for the stew and 500ml water. On the hob bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for 15 minutes.
Cover and transfer to the oven, and leave to cook for 3 hours, until the meat is cooked through and tender. Check and adjust the seasoning. Return back to the hob and bring to a boil for 15 minutes, until the potatoes begin to break down and thicken the sauce.
To make the dumplings rub together the flour and butter until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour in 200ml cold water, add the herbs and roughly combine, using the blade of a knife. Once a dough has formed roll into 16 small balls. Place the dumplings on top of the stew, cover and cook for 20 minutes more on the hob top, until the dumplings are cooked through.
Mutton has the most amazing flavour and slow cooking it gives it a beautiful soft texture too