This is a real mammy dish in that all the Irish mums have a recipe for this. My recipe has a long tailed history and has satisfied several generations of my family and continues to frequently grace the table of all those on whom the recipe was bestowed. Colour the meat for extra flavour.


Serves 4

  • 2 tbsp. rapeseed oil
  • 1kg lamb neck, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • ½ celeriac, cubed
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed into large chunks
  • 50g Pearl barley, optional
  • 1 tbsp. Parsley sprigs, chopped
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 900ml stock or water
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a large saucepan with a little oil and quickly brown off the meat to add extra flavour but it is not required if you want to keep it traditional. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add in the chopped carrots, onions, celeriac, and leek and quickly fry off for a further 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the herbs and the stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Check the seasoning. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Simmer over very gentle heat for 2 hours.
  4. After the 2 hours are lapsed, add in the diced potatoes and the pearl barley and stir to combine the two. These two products will both act as thickening agent so you may need to add a little extra stock depending on the consistency you like in your stew.
  5. Allow the stew to cook gently for a further 30-45 minutes until the meat is tender and the potatoes are softened.
  6. Serve the stew warm with an extra sprinkle of parsley and some crusty bread.