Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew

Welcome to the 5th annual ST. PATRICK’S DAY BLOG CRAWL 

hosted by my dear friend, Kathleen, at Cuisine Kathleen.
I love St. Patrick’s Day for so many reasons.  Spring is around the corner.
Days are longer and the first Spring flowers are starting to appear.
And my mother always made the most delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner.
I don’t know many people who don’t claim to have a little Irish in them when St. Paddy’s Day rolls around.

Cuisine Kathleens Image 2

I have a story I want to share with you because it just about knocked me over
when it happened, and it is a good example of how the internet has made our world a very small place indeed.
Three years ago for Kathleen’s Blog Crawl I wrote about my great-great-grandparents,
William Ross Wallace and Catherine Irwin, who were born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1834.
The potato famine  brought them to the United States and my great-grandmother,
Catherine Irwin Wallace…Katie to those who loved her…was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1869.
Last summer I received an email from a woman in San Diego who is the
g-granddaughter of my g-grandmother’s sister, Agnes. She was searching for family history
and when she Googled my gg-grandfather’s name MY BLOG CAME UP…Can you believe it?
We exchanged some very interesting family history  and it got me thinking about all the relatives
I must have whom I have never met.  My g-grandmother was one of six children so I couldn’t even guess.

It’s been more than 140 years since those little girls played together and their descendants found each other on the internet.
I have to be honest…that chokes me up.

Irish Lamb Stew

I always make the same St. Patrick’s Day dinner…
corned beef, cabbage and buttered potatoes

(or COLCANNON)… but this year I wanted to try something different.
When I saw this lamb stew recipe at THE VIEW FROM GREAT ISLAND
I knew this was IT.   What reminded me of my grandmother in this dish is the addition of parsnips.
They add so much flavor and sweetness to this stew.  I hope you will add them too if you try this recipe.
I bought a lamb roast at Costco and trimmed and cut it into good sized cubes.
It was so tender and mild…absolutely delicious. 

Irish Soda Bread

I broke tradition and made KING ARTHUR FLOUR’S recipe for Irish Soda bread.
It’s made with whole wheat flour and is a little heavier than INA GARTEN’S recipe.
the one I have made for years…but the flavor is so good and it is delicious with butter and jam.

Ina's Irish Soda Bread 2

As you can see, I like currants in my soda bread.
They add just the right amount of sweetness.

I hope you and your family have a very happy and delicious St. Patrick’s Day.  I urge you to visit Kathleen at CUISINE KATHLEEN and all the participants in her Blog Crawl.  I know I don’t want to miss a story or a recipe.  See you there.


My great-grandmother used to sing this song all the time as she puttered around the house.   When I was very young I learned the words and could sing along with her.   I can still see and hear her in my memories and there isn’t a St. Paddy’s Day that goes by that I don’t hum the tune and recite the words.  

Wearin’ of the Green

by Dion Boucicault
“Oh Paddy dear and did you hear the news that’s going ’round?
the shamrock is forbid by law to grow on Irish ground
No more St. Patrick’s Day to keep his colours can’t be seen
there is a cruel law against the wearing of the green”
I met with Napper Tandy and he took me by the hand
and he said, “How’s dear old Ireland and how does she stand?”
“She’s the most distressful country that you have ever seen
they’re hangin’ men and women there for wearing of the green”

Then if the colour we must wear is England’s cruel red
let it remind us of the blood that Ireland has shed
so take the shamrock from your hat and throw it to the sod
and never fear will take root there though under foot it’s trod
when the law can stop the blades of grass from growing as they grow
and when the leaves of summertime their verdue dare not show
well it’s then I’ll change the colour that I wear in my corbeen
but till that time praise God I’ll keep to wearing of the green.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Irish Lamb Stew
  • 1 lb lamb, cut in bite sized pieces
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled, halved and thickly sliced
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • ½ bottle of beer or ale
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 or 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 3 or 4 small or 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 red skinned potatoes, peeled, halved and thickly sliced
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed stew pot over medium high heat and brown the lamb on all sides. Do this in 2 batches. Remove the lamb and set aside.
  3. Brown the onions in the same pot with the lamb drippings.
  4. Add the meat back into the pan along with the stock, beer, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring up to a simmer.
  5. Cover the pot and put in the oven for an hour.
  6. Add the vegetables to the pot along with sprigs of fresh thyme tied in a bundle (or pick off the leaves). There should be enough broth to almost cover the vegetables. If not, add more stock or water. Cook for another hour.
  7. Check seasoning and serve with lots of fresh chopped parsley.
  8. NOTE; I prefer to cook the vegetables separately and add them to the meat mixture the last 20-30 minutes of cook time. This way nothing overcooks.


This St. Patrick’s Day post is also linked to FOODIE FRIDAY AT RATTLEBRIDGE FARM


  1. says

    That is an amazing story, Cathy! The internet has made it a very small world, indeed! How thrilling that you were contacted and were able to share stories. I’m not a big fan of lamb unless it’s grilled chops but my mouth is watering looking at your photos! I love your beautiful copper pot!
    Susan recently posted..Irish Pub CupcakesMy Profile

  2. says

    Now I know what I’m going to do with the rest of that box of currants you convinced me to buy!! LOL I used to always put parsnips in my beef stew recipe…it was one of James Beard’s from his very early cookbooks. I loaned out the cookbook & never got it back. Hrumph!

    LOVED hearing the story of how your distant relatives found you on the net. Serendipity!

    I’m on & just love spending time, digging back in time. Amazing to see & hear the stories of those that have touched our lives & didn’t live to know about us.

    Hugs & Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
    Rettabug recently posted..♣♣♣ Irish Celebrations! ♣♣♣My Profile

    • says

      You still have those currants, Rett? That is so funny. I use them instead of raisins in quite a few of my favorite recipes. They are good in small cookies. I love digging into family history too. The great grandmother I mentioned passed away when I was a senior in high school. She was born 4 years after Lincoln died and her stories were amazing.
      Cathy recently posted..Irish Lamb Stew and Cuisine Kathleen’s Blog CrawlMy Profile

  3. says

    Cathy, The lamb stew sounds delicious. I love lamb AND parsnips. I often use parsnips in my mashed potatoes–just a few, and they add flavor and a creamy texture. Your story of finding relatives is very moving. All of my grandparents came to the USA and finding their relatives would be difficult. I may start that someday. I do keep hearing that Ina’s bread recipe is good! Your photos are wonderful. Linda
    Linda recently posted..CrawlingMy Profile

  4. says

    What a wonderful story! I have found missing cousins, too, and the ones I like best are on my great grandmother’s line! What a coincidence. :-)

    I can hear my grandmother singing, “My Bonny lies over the ocean. My Bonny lies over the sea. My bonny lies over the ocean. Oh, bring back my bonny to me! Bring back! Bring back! Oh, bring back my bonny to me, to me. Bring back! Bring back! Oh, bring back my bonny to me!”

    While that’s the other island (Scotland), I couldn’t go to sleep without either Granny or Mama singing that to me, and we would rock in the rocker I still have. Don’t you love sweet memories like that? I sure so.

    I descend from Brian Boru, and that’s about as Irish as I can find. Well, except for some Scots Irish who immigrated in the 1700’s from Londonderry. But Boru was my best genealogy find. It was through an obscure English ancestress, believe it or not. But it was the jackpot as far as I was concerned. :-)

    Erin go braugh, my friend.


    Sheila recently posted..In Loving Memory Of Our First Godson…My Profile

  5. says

    What a fabulous story, it gave me chills…thank you so much for sharing that, what a wonderful post for the St. Paddy’s blog crawl. I have never cooked with parsnips, so I am going to take your advice and try them in my next stew, I think my hubs would love them.

  6. says

    That is a very cool story!

    lamb, is not a very common ingredient in Ms. It is become a little more available with the new chains finally coming in. I’ve only had it a couple of times in my life.

    Looks great

  7. says

    You lucky duck for next’s funny I wondered while typing if you would go back..
    Happy for you..They are available through french will see French or English.. once the French pops up..type in Sables Maison..they should appear..but they state long shipping dates..Mine came sooner:)

    Good luck..they orginate from France though my Google search found many venues to get them..
    They are so you.
    Monique recently posted..There’s a new kid(s) on the block~My Profile

  8. says

    I joined Kathleen’s blog crawl one year, but haven’t done it since. Can’t imagine why.
    What an amazing story you’ve told in your post! The internet and Facebook have brought us closer to so many we’ve lost touch with. And look what you found! What fun.
    This looks like a delicious meal, Cathy. Parsnips remind me of my mother and grandmother too…one of their favorite veggies, in stews in particular, but they also served it with their corned beef and cabbage. I never cared much for parsnips so never made them for my children. Shame on me.
    Barbara recently posted..Brown Bread Ice CreamMy Profile

  9. says

    That is an amazing story with your relatives. The internet makes it a small world, for sure! Your stew sounds perfect for the day!

  10. says

    Cathy, what a beautiful Irish stew. We would both love this!! I am also wearing goose bumps about the relative found on the Internet. Amazing, this world we live in.

  11. says

    Your food looks so delicious. I loved your story. A while ago I posted about a French Grandma Cooking and a cake my grandmother used to make. A woman in France emailed me a copy of documents in French of my gggrandmother and her children, names, and ages, the ship they traveled. She said she found it with two clicks of the computer. I just find that amazing. Now off to visit Kathleen.
    Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon recently posted..The World’s Best MadeleinesMy Profile

  12. says

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day Cathy . . . what a wonderful stew and bread you’ve made for the celebration! I haven’t got an ounce of Irish blood in me, but my kids do and so we always have a great time! Enjoy all of the fun!

  13. says

    Hi Cathy….isn’t it amazing what you can find out now a days about your family history…Heather moved to Princeton 10 years ago but it was only after her grandfather died and we were going through old papers that she discovered her Great-Grandmother and Great Aunt were buried in the local cemetery not but 2 miles from her home. It was written in the family bible just where they were buried…Only one head stone but we were able to visit the grave site….We also found out that the Boss’ great great grandfather fought in the Civil War at Gettysburg….such fun to find out stuff like that
    Sue in Atlanta recently posted..MARGUERITE’S TABLE……..My Profile

  14. says

    What a lovely post Cathy. Your photos are so beautiful. Also the story of how the internet helped you connect with relatives was heartwarming. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you. It won’t be long before you are off to France.
    Penny recently posted..Tuna Noodle CasseroleMy Profile

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