Hearty Grass Fed Lamb Stew with Pearl Barley

Hearty Grass Fed Lamb Stew with Pearl Barley

This is a traditional Irish style lamb stew with pearl barley, which together with the grass fed diced lamb promises for a wonderful hearty stew. As with many Irish stews, it also has potatoes, but it’s not necessarily needed with the pearl barley.  Opt for a home-made bone broth instead of stock for all the health properties and flavour that this provides.

You can prepare and let this simmer while you relax for the evening, spend some time with the kids or snuggle up under a blanket with a book. Once I have a stew like this simmering away, I feel like dinner’s ready – the work is all but done.  Here it is!


  • Olive oil
  • 1 pack diced grass fed lamb (around 7-800g)
  • 1 large brown onion – chopped
  • 2 medium carrots – chopped
  • 2 stalks celery – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 litre/4 cups chicken stock or lamb bone broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 waxy potatoes – peeled & chopped coarsely
  • 3 large leaves shredded silver beet/spinach
  • Bunch fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and cracked pepper


Heat oil in pan and brown the diced lamb in batches. Remove from the pan.

Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and cook until vegetables have softened.  I often add a dash of water during this stage to prevent charring if necessary.

Place the browned diced lamb back in the pan, along with the stock, water, pearl barley and thyme. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 1 hour & 10 minutes with the lid on.

Remove the thyme stalks, taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, cook for 10 minutes.

Add extra water here if need be, then add the shredded spinach and simmer for another 10 minutes or until both the potatoes and spinach are tender.

Once tender, serve topped with chopped fresh parsley.

I’ve used diced lamb here, but you could also use forequarter chops, diced lamb shoulder, chump chops or even slow cooking beef cuts. See our lamb hampers here if you’d like to cook with our chemical free, grass fed cuts.