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The ultimate slow-cooked Irish lamb stew recipe

For perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth lamb and delicious veg in a rich hearty gravy, this recipe is so simple to make but carries so much flavour. Leave it to bubble on low for 7-8 hours whilst you get on with your day, and return to a delicious traditional dinner, ready to be served with a warm bread roll for soaking up all those juices. Alternatively, leave the potatoes out of the slow cooker, and make them in to mash to serve on the side!

What you'll need
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 150g smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunks
  • 850g stewing lamb cut into large chunks
  • 700ml lamb stock
  • Small bunch thyme
  • 5 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 5 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 75g pearl barley
  • 1 leek, washed and cut into chunks
  • Small knob of butter

Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan, and sizzle the bacon until crisp. Tip the bacon into a slow-cooker pot, before browning the chunks of lamb in the pan.


Transfer the browned lamb to the slow-cooker pot with the thyme, bay leaves, onions, stock, potatoes and carrots. Top up with water if the mixture isn’t covered. Cook for seven hours on a low heat.


Throw in the leek and pearl barley, cooking on a high heat for an additional hour.


Stir in the butter and serve with a large slice of Irish soda bread or greens. 

You could use this stew as a base for delicious pie for all the family, simply scoop the mixture in to a large casserole dish and top with a layer of store bought puff pastry. Stick it in the oven until golden brown and flakey topped.

Looking for more pie recipes? Try our collection of 5 easy pie recipes, from fish to steak and ale, there is sure to be something you fancy a slice of!

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