No better way to start off you're bank holiday weekend than with this tasty Irish stew.

Yield: Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 675g/1.4lbs shoulder of lamb
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 large leek, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 100g/3.5oz swede, cut into cubes
  • About 600ml/3.4fl oz chicken stock
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 675g/1.4lbs even-sized potatoes
  • 40g/1.4oz butter
  • Chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180ºC (350ºF). Trim the lamb very well and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Place the flour in a shallow dish and season generously, then use to coat the lamb. Arrange half of the lamb in the bottom of a round dish and add a sprinkling of thyme. Scatter the onion, leek, carrots and swede on top, then season and add another sprinkling of thyme.
  3. Arrange the remaining lamb on top to cover the vegetables completely and sprinkle over the remaining thyme.
  4. Pour enough chicken stock to just come up above the last layer of lamb. Cover the casserole with a lid and place in the oven for about 1 hour until the lamb and vegetables are just tender and the stock has thickened slightly.
  5. Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice the potatoes lengthways into 1cm thick slices and lay them in a slightly overlapping layer on top of the stew.
  6. Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave and brush over the potatoes. Season to taste and cook in the oven for another 40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and nicely golden and the lamb stew is bubbling up around the edges of the dish. Sprinkle the chopped parsley on top and serve straight to the table.

TIP: You can also use neck of lamb or gigot chops to make this stew. Simply ask your butcher to cut it into 1½cm slices for you.