Uncle Paddy's Irish Lamb Stew





Introduction: Uncle Paddy's Irish Lamb Stew

About: I love to stay home as much as as I love to travel, I've been to 49 states (missing Alaska) and 31 countries. I have two wiener dogs now and a cat. We all live together in a house in the woods. With no roaches.

My favorite Irish joke goes like this: "What's green and sits outside in the rain? Paddy 'O Furniture!"

This lamb stew is so easy to make - after browning the lamb you layer the veggies, add water to cover and after about 1.5 hours you have a thick delicious stew sure to warm you even if you are caught outside in the rain like poor Paddy.

The more you veer away from the simpleness of this recipe the less it will be the best stew you've ever had. Believe me I know, I once tried adding white wine - ruined it. Another time it was celery - ruined it, and anther bad idea was chicken broth instead of water - you guessed it.

Step 1: Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lamb cubes - since Uncle Paddy is a butcher he always has the lamb packaged as shown in the photo, but I'm in a different state (DC) and was able to find it the same way here at the farmer's market, so you should be able to find it this way as well.
  • 3 or 4 carrots. I confess that since I was at the farmer's market anyway I sprang for those expensive carrots that have their green tops still on - what a revelation! They were so sweet and tasty that I think I'll always buy them from now on.
  • 10 - 14 baby potatoes
  • flour for dredging
  • Olive oil, or any oil really
  • salt
  • 2 or 3 onions (not sweet ones)
  • 1 or 2 leeks (optional but really delicious)
  • Parsley (optional but looks good)

Step 2: Dredge and Brown

For your first step heat up some olive oil (any sort of oil will do), enough to make a thin layer on the bottom of the pot. Add a big pinch - as much as your fingers and thumb can hold - of salt to the flour. Dredge the lamb pieces in the flour and set aside until you can put all of them into the pot at once.

I have an aversion to fat so the first thing I did one time was laboriously trim every tiny bit of fat on every piece of lamb. Well that was a mistake and also not necessary at all because the fats melts into nothingness. So go right ahead and dredge the lamb pieces in flour. The flour is the trick to the stew being so nice and thick on it's own without there even being any extra steps at the end.

Step 3: Layer the Onions

This is what I love about this recipe - it's so easy, the results are stellar and you are free to do other things like make a salad and dessert while the stew is doing all of the work.

Peel the carrots and slice into large bites, chop the onions into large pieces, check the potatoes and trim if needed so that they are close to the same size as the carrots. If you sprang for leeks be sure to look for the dirt that hides in the layers, wash them well under running water. I love leeks but they are expensive, in this case they are worth it.

Step 4: Layer the Potatoes, Carrots, and Leeks

Step 5: Add Water, Cover, and DON'T Stir

Set the heat for medium high and when the stew starts to boil madly turn down the heat until it simmers strongly. Cook for an hour or so and check a potatoes for doneness. Judge how much longer the stew needs to cook based on that potato. You should not have to add any more water.

Step 6: Done!

When the potatoes are tender the stew is done, add some parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Now is when you will want to stir the stew, and you may think at first that it is too soupy - but just when you are thinking that very thought, the flour you dredged the lamb in will start to do its magic and by the time you ladle it into soup bowls it will be nice and thick.



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    25 Discussions

    It was very good! I do want to experiment with it a bit and make it my own. Very simple to make!

    How much water are you supposed to use?

    Definitely better than classic Irish stew. In the original the meat is mutton and is not browned. The other ingredients are only potatoes, onions and parsley. It is cooked until the potatoes loose all form and become mush. There is no broth. Mutton has a very strong odor compared to the meat of the younger animal. Why anyone would make it is a mystery. I discovered that the version made by my great aunt is actually the old country recipe. We ate it often during WWII because other meat was rationed but mutton was not. Your version looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it.

    1 reply

    Irish stew is a family thing. People used whatever they had to hand. o two taste the same. Country people used some things us Dubliners did not have and vice versa. Overcooking veg was normal then. My grate grandmother used to put everything and anything in it, it stood on the range a big pot all week. With 22 kids she needed food on the go all the time.


    Yum! Saving this one because my partner loves lamb and I don't cook with it too much. :D

    This is simple and delicious! How about add some lemon? Not much, enough to give some freshness to the stew.

    2 replies

    I promise you that will be a mistake - like the time I added white wine. It seems like a good idea but it just ruins the whole taste.

    Oh, I see... It looks pretty good as it is, I'll experiment as I go, probably add some red pepper or something like that. I love lamb, it's delicious on a barbecue. I often season it with lemon, salt and mint leaves and let it rest overnight, then just grill. You should try it ;)

    That's a great idea - but I don't know, I think you would want less water since it would not simmer as strongly. You will have to try and write up an 'ible on it!

    Looks fabulous! How much water should be used in Step 5 of this recipe?

    1 reply

    Pour water to the top of the last layer of veggies.

    Wonderful!! It looks easy and I can taste it through your pictures. I can't wait to make it.

    I don't have an Uncle Paddy so I'm adopting yours. :-)

    1 reply

    Thanks for putting this awesome stew up because there are too few people who love lamb the way we do. Your recipe is exactly on spot! Happy Holidays!

    I'm gonna try that...

    This lamb stew sounds amazing!! Being a lamb lover, but gluten intolerant, do you think I could substitute corn starch or some other flour (rice, potato, or tapioca) for the flour?

    We got our first snow today that needed to be shoveled. For a happy stew I would carve smiley faces in those little potatoes or cut them into Pac-man/ghost shapes. A warm bread and butter goes good with stew.

    1 reply

    What a great idea! And this stew is such a time saver that would be easy to do.