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The Hirshon St Patrick’s Day Irish stew - Stobhach Gaelach

The Hirshon St Patrick’s Day Irish stew – Stobhach Gaelach

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 1.5 kg lamb chops on the bone, excess bone cut off by butcher
  • Small knob of butter
  • 1kg carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into good size chunks
  • 4 leeks (TFD preference), white party only, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, rinsed to remove sand and sliced or 4 medium onions, cut into pieces (the traditional choice)
  • 3 cups stock – lamb stock is ideal, chicken or beef stock is acceptable
  • 2 Bay leaves (a TFD addition and totally optional)
  • a sprig of thyme for cooking
  • A sprig of rosemary (a TFD addition, leave it out for traditionalists!)
  • chopped fresh parsley to garnish
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to season


  1. Brown the lamb chops over a medium heat in a large oven-safe (cast iron preferred) pan in the butter, and put to the side.
  2. Sauté the leeks or onions in the fat left over from frying the meat.
  3. Pour half the stock into the pan, turn the heat up as high as it will go and scrape the pan as the stock boils to get all the meat juices. Pour both portions of stock over the meat and onions/leeks, add the bay leaves, the optional Rosemary and the thyme. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cover and put in the oven for about 45 minutes to one hour.
  4. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut medium sized potatoes into three pieces, large ones into 4 or 5 pieces.
  5. Remove the stew from the oven. Add the carrots, mixing them in well with the meat, then lay the potatoes over the top of the stew. Return to the oven and cook for another 45 minutes or so – check whether it is done by testing if the potatoes are cooked through.
  6. Before serving, remove and discard the thyme and the bay leaves. Pour off the cooking liquid and leave to stand for a few minutes. This will bring the fat to the top and allow you to remove it.
  7. You can easily do this by putting it in a bowl and laying double sheets of kitchen paper gently over the surface. They soak up the fat very well. It may take 3-4 goes to get it all away, depending on how fatty the lamb was.
  8. Return the defatted liquid to the stew, mix the potatoes into the rest of the stew and stir in a handful of roughly chopped parsley. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes.
  9. Note that the sauce is not thickened – if you get a stew with a thickened sauce, it may be very nice but it’s not Irish Stew!
  10. There are two ways people deal with this delicious liquid on their dinner plate – some people mash some of the potato into it to thicken it, others leave it till the end and then mop it up with some bread.
  11. Season to taste and serve with minced parsley on top.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours