St Paddy’s Day: Lamb Stew with Soda Bread

I’m not Irish, but it doesn’t stop me getting into the food mood for St Patrick’s Day next weekend.

This year our Irish friends will actually be in Ireland for the big day. The downside of their absence is that we don’t get to go to a party. The upside is that they gave us a heap of food before they left. Hence the reason why I had a ton of potatoes…..

I cooked this stew in my slow cooker, so the lamb literally fell off the bones and the potatoes had picked up all the flavours of lamb and beer. I’m even more glad that I made the slow cooker decision because I would have had a serious lack of capacity in either of my casserole dishes. My slow cooker is a big one, (6 litres/quarts), and this only just fit in it. The left-overs are going to feed us for a few days!

In the ingredients below I have left it up to you which cut of lamb you use because I know that availability can vary across the world. I used lamb forequarter chops as they are the cheapest lamb chops available here without going as far as neck chops, (which I found to have a little too much bone for our liking when I have used them before). If lamb is too pricey where you are, then just substitute some beef which is suited to slow cooking.

Ingredients – serves 6-8:

Lamb Stew:

  • approx 1.2kg/2.5 lbs lamb, suitable for slow cooking (either chops or chunks)
  • 1 tbsp oil, vegetable or olive
  • 150g/5 oz diced bacon
  • 3 brown onions, sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 bay leaves (I used dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 and 1/2 cups beer (I used lager but any light coloured beer will do)
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 200g/7 oz frozen peas

Soda Bread:

  • 150g/5 oz plain (all purpose) flour
  • 150g/5 oz plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda (baking soda)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk (any kind)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (from a bottle is fine)


  • Heat a non-stick frying pan and then brown the lamb in batches. Once browned, place on a plate.
  • Put the oil in the frying pan then add the bacon and onions. Cook over a medium heat until the onions soften.
  • Add the carrots, herbs and beer. Stir to de-glaze the pan, then bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Put a layer of potatoes into the bottom of your slow cooker dish, then layer the lamb, potatoes and other vegetables.
  • Cook the stew on low for 7-8 hours.
  • When you have about an hour of stew cooking time remaining, you can make the soda bread. To do this, mix all the bread ingredients together in a large bowl using a flat bladed knife, then form into a ball of dough using your hands. Place the dough on a baking tray and use a floured knife to slash the top (in the form of a cross).
  • Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F and then bake the bread for 25-30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Add the peas to the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve the stew with a chunk of the freshly-baked soda bread.
  • Enjoy!

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11 Responses to St Paddy’s Day: Lamb Stew with Soda Bread

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    That looks excellent. In my youth, we ate a lot of mutton, boiled and served with parsley sauce and potatoes. If it weren’t for the parsley sauce, it would have been inedible. Thankfully, life has moved on and this St. Patrick’s Day, I will be avoiding the Dublin parade and the drunks. I will have to get my act together to cook something relevant (Irish and alcohol soaked) and post it.

  2. Looks delish – nice pics. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love stews like this – all the flavours get a chance to meld together. I don’t have a slow cooker but will try this in my casserole dish instead.

  4. Delicious! We are to have the Welsh version, cawl, this evening!

  5. brianporter23 says:

    Will make a nice change from the Corned Beef and Cabbage I am usually required to make for St Patricks Day!

  6. Pingback: Chocolate Orange Soda Bread | Recipe Adaptors

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