Pic of Irish stew with herb dumplings

Irish stew with herb dumplings

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Soups & stews

Irish stew with herb dumplings

Main Serves 5 2h 30 min
This is an extremely simple stew to make. The long cooking time yields falling apart lamb, tender veg and succulent, nubbly grains of pearl barley. You can make the stew in advance up to the dumpling stage, and then reheat, adding the dumplings to steam. Eat as the Irish do with a generous garnish of parsley and lots of buttery cabbage.


  • 700g diced lamb
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 medium-large potatoes, sliced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 100g pearl barley
  • leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1.2 litre veg stock
  • 180g self raising flour
  • 90g suet
  • handful fresh parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
  • salt and pepper
Image of Irish stew with herb dumplings


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 2h 20 min
  • Step 1

    Toss the lamb with the flour and season well.
  • Step 2

    Layer the lamb, veg, barley and thyme in a large heavy based flameproof casserole. Pour over the stock. Bring to the boil.
  • Step 3

    Reduce the heat and skim off any scum. Cover and simmer very gently for 2 hours.
  • Step 4

    To make the dumplings, mix the flour and suet in a large bowl. Season and stir in the parsley. Gradually add just enough cold water (a few tablespoons) and make a dough with your hands.
  • Step 5

    Roll into 8 similar sized balls and pop them on top of the stew. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.

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