Ballymaloe Irish Stew*

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Simply Delicious: Book 1

Simply Delicious

By Darina Allen

Published 1989

  • About


  • 1.35 kg/2½-3 lbs mutton or lamb chops (gigot or rack chops) not less than 2.5 cm/1 inch thick
  • 5 medium or 12 baby carrots
  • 5 medium or 12 baby onions
  • 8 potatoes or more if you like
  • 570 ml/1 pint/ cups stock (mutton stock if possible) or water
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 tablesp. roux (optional)


  • 1 tablesp. freshly-chopped parsley
  • 1 tablesp. freshly-chopped chives


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/regulo 4.

Cut the chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set aside. Render down the fat on a gentle heat in a heavy pan (discard the rendered down pieces).

Peel the onions and scrape or thinly peel the carrots (if they are young you could leave some of the green stalk on the onion and carrot). Cut the carrots into large chunks, or if they are young leave them whole. If the onions are large, cut them small; if they are small they are best left whole.

Toss the meat in the hot fat on the pan until it is slightly brown. Transfer the meat into a casserole, then quickly toss the onions and carrots in the fat. Build the meat, carrots and onions up in layers in the casserole, carefully season each layer with freshly-ground pepper and salt. De-glaze the pan with mutton stock and pour into the casserole. Peel the potatoes and lay them on top of the casserole, so they will steam while the stew cooks. Season the potatoes. Add a sprig of thyme, bring to the boil on top of the stove, cover and transfer to a moderate oven or allow to simmer on top of the stove until the stew is cooked, 1–1½ hours approx., depending on whether the stew is being made with lamb or mutton.

When the stew is cooked, pour off the cooking liquid, de-grease and reheat in another saucepan. Slightly thicken it with a little roux if you like. Check seasoning, then add chopped parsley and chives and pour it back over the stew. Bring it back up to boiling point and serve from the pot or in a large pottery dish.