If someone was lucky enough to have a lamb they would not have killed it but allowed it to mature to produce more lambs, wool and even milk.  Mutton on the other hand, is from an older sheep and probably past her productive age and not of any use other than food and her coat; secondly the cuts of meat used for Irish Stew would have been meat that wasn’t wanted by the more wealthy, typical of any peasant food worldwide, and so it would only have been mutton in Irish Stew.— We Love Donegal,

Lamb is of the most common meats used in Irish stew recipes, but the term “Irish” stew, which became common in the early 1800’s, is used for nearly any stew, with or without mutton.

In the USA, mutton is usually hard to find and often tough when you do, so lamb will do. However, know this, the long, slow cooking in a dutch oven is perfect to get mutton wonderfully tender if you can find any.

Our dutch-oven recipe today is a bit more simple than the one shown in the video above but this a great outdoor recipe if you have half a day to let it cook. 

Lamb Irish Stew
Serves 8
A simple, slow cooked meal for your troop or family to celebrate St. Patrick's Day
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
3 hr 30 min
Total Time
4 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs Lamb shoulder (bone in, which develops a better stock)
  2. 4 tbsp bacon fat or oil divided
  3. 3 large onions quartered
  4. 3 medium carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  5. 16 Small potatoes
  6. I small head of cabbage cut into wedges
  7. 2 cups water
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  10. 2 tbsp butter
  11. 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  12. 3 tsp fresh parsley minced
  13. 3 tsp fresh chives minced
  14. 1 tsp fresh thyme minced
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Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add, water, onions, carrots and remaining oil to pan.
  2. Simmer for 2 hours until meat is falling from bones.
  3. Remove to cool. Pull meat from bones and set aside
  4. Add the potatoes, salt, pepper and lamb meat; Bring to a boil.
  5. Add cabbage, return to heat and bring to boil until vegetables are tender.
  6. With a slotted spoon, remove meat and vegetables to a large bowl; set aside and keep warm. Pour pan juices into another bowl and stir in flour until smooth.
  7. Gradually add pan juices to meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  8. Stir in the parsley, chives, thyme, and serve.
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Adapted from Traditional Lamb Stew Recipe at Taste of Home Magazine
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/
Serve with thick slices of Irish soda bread. 

Irish Soda bread
Serves 8
This is the easiest to make and best tasting dutch-oven soda bread around
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups buttermilk or regular milk with 2 tsp apple cider vinegar added
  2. 4 cups flour
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
  6. 1 cup dried fruit (craisins, currants, raisins or mix and match)
  7. Butter for serving
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Instructions
  1. If using, combine the apple cider vinegar with the milk and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients in a really big mixing bowl. Whisk until it's evenly combined and well incorporated.
  3. Whisk the milk mixture a few times until i
  4. Slowly pour milk mixture into the flour, stirring as you go with a wooden spoon until it's wet and dough-like.
  5. Knead the dough once or twice to shape it into a ball but be careful not to over knead or it will be tough.
  6. Place dough into a greased cast-iron skillet (how the Irish do it).
  7. Using a serrated knife to make an "X".
  8. Cover with a dutch oven bottom and bake hot 30 to 45 minutes, until it's golden and cooked through. (Check by pushing a long, wooden skewer or thin chopstick into the center. If it comes out clean, it's done.)
Notes
  1. Slice large wedges while warm and slather with butter. Serve with Irish stew
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Adapted from Happy Herbivore
Adapted from Happy Herbivore
Voice of Scouting https://voiceofscouting.org/
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Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. However, his pride in Scouting, is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative and Commissioner.

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