Civil War Recipes: Irish Stew

Slowly but surely I am still working my way through my Civil War Recipes cookbook.  This time I thought I give something savory a go.  This recipe reads super easy, but it goes against everything I want to do when making stew.    Normally when I make a stew or anything that is braised in any way I will brown the meat and vegetable and deglaze the pan with some booze…wine if your classy. It’s also perfect timing considering St. Paddy’s day is around the corner.

Civil War: Lamb Stew

This recipe simply tosses everything in a pot and lets it go. It killed me to not brown and deglaze.  Kind of went against everything in my being, but the idea is to stay as true to the technique of the recipe as possible.

The original recipe reads as follows:

An Irish Stew – 1861

Cut six rather thick chops from the loin; when the square ends of the bones are cut of, these will probably weigh two pounds; lay them in an iron pot, and put four pounds of sliced potatoes, placed in layers, with the chops, and half a dozen small onions, without a quart of water; cover the pan closely and let them stew on a moderate fire for two hours, our until the potatoes have become nearly a mash, and absorbed all the water and gravy of meat; the chops will then be found very tender, and the potatoes rich with the fat. The stew should be eaten hot, but without any kind of sauce.

Civil War: Lamb Stew

Ok, so I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter.  It was clear to me that some seasoning was needed, I felt like sweet peas would be a good addition and I wanted some sauce.  I like the sauce.  But, I did stick to the technique of the recipe.  In other words I tossed everything in a pot and let it go. However, the simplify of this recipe makes it a great contender for the slow-cooker.

By adding some fresh herbs, generous seasoning of salt and pepper and some garlic cloves I got a savory lamb stew. The potatoes soaked up all the lamb goodness and the chop were fall of the bone tender.  A simple hearty dinner.

Civil War Recipes: Irish Stew
  • 6 lamb loin chops, about 2 lbs
  • 3 lbs gold potatoes, sliced
  • ½ 16 oz bag frozen pearl onions
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously season chops with salt and pepper. Lay in a large dutch oven. Top with potatoes, pearl onion, garlic, and fresh herb, sprinkle with salt. Add 1 quart of water. Cover and place in oven for 2 hours our until lamb chops are tender. Add peas cook another 5 - 10 minutes.
  3. Serve hot with crusty bread.
Slow-Cooker Version - Add everything to slow-cooker except the peas. Set on LOW for 6 hours. Add peas for last 5 minutes. Serve hot!


  1. says

    I admire your fortitude in following the method of this recipe to the letter. I know that I’d have a hard time not searing the lamb and deglazing the pan before popping it all into the oven. That said, I would never, ever refuse a bowl of lamb stew.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *