When you’re sitting by the fire at night, hungry and just a touch too cold, nothing satisfies better than a warm hearty stew. If you’re looking for a meal that you can make yourself that won’t take too long, try this Irish Stew from Donal Skehan’s“Donal’s Meals in Minutes: 90 Suppers from Scratch, 15 Minutes Prep”. The delicious one-pot stew with cheddar dumplings tastes best when cooked in a cast-iron casserole dish and eaten when you’re just a little bit too cold.

You can make it with beef if you prefer, but lamb is more traditional and delicious, especially with lamb neck added to the pot for a richer broth.

  • Total: 90 minutes

Ingredients (15)

  • 1.2kg boneless lean lamb, trimmed of excess fat and shoulder or neck, cut into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 tbsp pearl barley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 2 large waxy potatoes, diced sea salt and black pepper
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 75g butter
  • 50g cheddar, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan).
  2. Season the lamb and dust lightly with the flour. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole over a medium heat and brown the lamb all over in batches.
  3. Remove from the casserole and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the casserole and gently fry the onions, celery and carrot for 5minutes until softened. Scatter the pearl barley into the casserole then place the lamb chunks on top along with the bay leaf, thyme sprigs and stock. Add the potatoes, season well then bring to a boil. Cover with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 2 hours.
  5. Add all the ingredients for the dumplings to a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Season well, then gradually add up to l00ml of water until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Using floured hands, shape into 12 evenly sized balls and set aside.
  6. Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the heat to 200°C (180°C fan). Place the dumplings around the edge of the stew. Re-cover and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes until the dumplings are pillowy . To brown the dumplings, cook for another few minutes uncovered. Serve in deep bowls.

Excerpted From Donal’s Meal in Minutes: 90 Suppers from Scratch, 15 Minutes Prep by Donal Skehan, Copyright 2019 By Quercus.