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March Irish Stew

What could be more heartening and filling in MARCH than a delicious bowl of Irish stew, a popular dish from Ireland and loved the world over. Though a hugely popular dish on St Patrick's Day, this dish is far too good to reserve for a few days a year; eat it when you want a comforting and warming dish.

Made here with Lamb

Irish stew was traditionally made with mutton (sheep), but it is now often made with the easier-to-find lamb. I am not partial to Lam and prefer Beef.

Either meat will make a delicious, hearty stew. Controversy reigns over whether adding vegetables other than potatoes makes the perfect Irish stew. Adding onions, leeks, carrots, and cabbage does add extra flavor and nutrition to the stew, but the choice is yours.

The beauty of this Irish stew recipe is that little else is needed to make it a meal because it contains vegetables. Serve with crusty bread to soak up all of the delicious sauce.


  • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped

  • Oil, for frying

  • 1-ounce butter

  • 1 sprig dried thyme

2 1/2 pounds best end of lamb neck, cut into large pieces OR... if Lamb is not your taste: 1 1/4 pounds well-marbled chuck beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

  • 7 carrots, chopped lengthways into 2-inch pieces

  • 2 tablespoons pearl barley

  • 5 cups Chicken Stock, recipe follows

  • Salt (recommended: Fleur du Sel)

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)

  • 12 medium potatoes

  • 1 bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped

  • 1 bunch chives