Traditional stew and dumplings © Travel About Britain

The lush green pastures and verdant hillsides of Great Britain provide the ideal conditions for grazing sheep and cattle. British lamb is some of the best in the world due to our good breeding practices and very high standards of animal welfare.

Although you can buy British lamb all year round the two main seasons are in the Spring and Autumn. Spring lamb is usually very tender and has a light flavour. Autumn lamb is much richer, with a stronger taste, as the sheep have had longer to graze and develop.

Lamb is very popular in the UK and you will find numerous traditional recipes for lamb stew all around Britain. The following recipe is a particular favourite in the Devon and Cornwall area.

Note: the dumplings should be added to the stew during the last 20 minutes of cooking time. See our Herb Dumpling recipe for details.

Ingredients for Lamb Stew

  • 2 lamb loin-chops
  • 150 grams (5 oz) of mushrooms
  • 1 lamb stock cube (chicken flavour stock can be used if lamb is not available)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 small parsnips
  • 150 grams (5 oz) of Swede (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Leek
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of baked beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cooking oil or butter

How to Make Lamb Stew

  1. Use a large 3 or 4 litre saucepan with a lid (a large saucepan is necessary to allow the dumplings to rise).
  2. Peel all the fresh vegetables and chop into small size pieces.
  3. Chop the onions into small slices and cook in a little oil (or butter) in the saucepan until soft.
  4. Add the lamb chops and fry off quickly to seal on both sides.
  5. Add the vegetables to the pan, then add 1 pint (1/2 litre) of water and crumble in the stock cube.
  6. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for at least 1 hour (stirring now and again).
  7. While the stew is simmering, prepare the herb dumplings.
  8. Mix in a tin of chopped tomatoes, then spoon a layer of baked beans over the top of the stew.
  9. Carefully lay your dumplings onto the top of the stew.
  10. Replace the lid and simmer for a further 20 minutes until the dumplings are well risen.

Serving Suggestions

Serve hot in a deep plate or large bowl. As the stew is a complete meal in itself there is no need to add extra vegetables, however if you need more, then a serving of new potatoes is always a good accompaniment.

Other recipes to try: Lancashire Hotpot | Suet Dumplings | Recipe Index

Recipe by D.L. Benney.

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