White Irish stew

The essence of Irish stew is to use readily available seasonal ingredients. Traditionally it was a white stew of lamb, potatoes and very little else. This is our take on it. Use the best ingredients you can find - it will be worth it.


Prep time
Less then 30 minutes
Cooking time
Over 2 hours


  • 2 big knobs of butter
  • glug olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, cut into various sizes
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 large potatoes, cut into various sizes
  • 8 lamb chops, excess fat trimmed off and reserved - thick neck chops will be best (go to a butcher if you can)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 565ml / 1 pint good-quality lamb stock
  • chopped parsley


  1. Melt butter with the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan with a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Add the onions and garlic and sweat them gently, slowly teasing the flavours out - 15 minutes or so over a low heat should do it.

  3. Add the potatoes and stir well to cover in the creamy juices from the onions and garlic.

  4. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper and three pinches of salt (two pinches if you've got big hands!).

  5. Leave the potatoes and onions in the pan for a further 15 minutes over a very low heat, taking care not to let them burn - if they begin to stick add a little bit of stock.

  6. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a low heat and add the excess trimmed fat from the lamb to the pan. Let the fat render down and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. Remove and solid fatty bits that remain and add the chops to the pan and brown on both sides.

  8. Once browned, remove the chops and add them to the potatoes.

  9. Add some of the stock to the frying pan and stir well to get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add this to the chops and potatoes.

  10. Add the remaining stock to just below the level of your ingredients. Put the lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for one and a half hours.

  11. If you like, add some parsley 10 minutes before the stew is ready.

  12. Remove the stew from the heat and leave to rest for about 10 minutes before serving, then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.