Lamb stew (Irish stew) dates from at least the late 1700's and is traditionally
one of the national dishes of Ireland. The traditional
stew contained only tough cuts of mutton (or mature sheep), onions, and potatoes.
It is often a stew made of leftovers and simmered for hours.
For St. Patrick's Day, I made a light version of traditional Irish stew. I choose lean cuts
of meat so there is little skimming required and less fat overall. Unfortunately, sheep
are not as plentiful in America as they are in Ireland, so it is a bit of a splurge to cook
a good quality lamb stew, but it's worth it! Some Americans are not used to the taste
of lamb, or have never tried it, but because of my Middle Eastern heritage, I grew up with lamb
skewers and love the taste. It can be a bit gamey for first-timers, so it often cooked with
rosemary, garlic, or parsley to balance out the taste. This stew showcases lamb at its best!
If it's your first time tasting lamb, try it in a marinade to ease your way into it.
Lamb also contains some amount of unsaturated (omega-3) fatty acids, which are a staple in the
- 2 lbs boneless lamb top round or leg steak, trimmed, cut to 1-inch pieces
- 1 ½ red potatoes, skin on, halved or quartered
- 3 large leeks, white part only, halved
- 3 carrots, cut to 1-inch pieces
- 3 stalks celery, small chop
- 1 14-oz can reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ cup packed fresh parsley for garnish
- 1 teaspoon oil
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Alternatively, you can chose to simmer the stew on the stovetop.
- Chop the carrots, celery, leeks, and potatoes and place in medium bowl, set aside.
To clean the leeks, fill the sink with cold water, or a large bowl. Then cut the white part of
the leek from the tops. Trim the stem. Remove the outer leaf. Score the leek and dunk in cold
water. Make sure all grit washes from the leek. Then, slice in halves.
- In a large pot, brown the trimmed lamb pieces in 1 teaspoon oil on a medium high heat.
Cook just until all sides are browned. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any
grease. Do in two or three batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- Once all meat is browned, set aside lamb, and immediately place all vegetables in hot
pot. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until slightly colored. Turn often. When the pot starts getting dry,
add 14 ounces chicken broth and about 12 ounces water. Add just enough water to leave a ½ inch
from the top shoulders of the veggies and lamb. Bring to a gentle simmer.
- In the meantime, add about 1 cup flour and enough water to moisten in a bowl. Make
a rope the length of the lid. Once the stew is simmering, place the lid on and tightly press
the dough rope around the lid and pot. This is to prevent liquid from evaporating in the oven.
Alternatively, you can simmer the stew with or without the dough paste.
- Simmer for 1 hour or until meat and vegetables are tender.
- Top with chopped parsley. Serve with Irish soda bread.
For photographs and detailed instructions, please visit
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