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First recorded in 1800, Irish stew was originally a food for those of the working class as it utilized cheap ingredients, whilst also feeding in bulk. Mutton and lamb were the most commonly used cuts in Irish stew back then, as there was a wide availability for that type of meat. [1] Today, you can find multiple recipes for the Irish stew, with many variations in chosen meats, cooking times, and additions. Controversy still lies on the question of whether adding vegetables other than potatoes takes away from the traditional aspect of this prestigious family meal or not. We chose to add stewing beef (as most in the office were not fan of lamb) and mixed in a lot of fresh vegetables which we purchased from our local farm shop Oakchurch. Take a look at our recipe below to find out how to make your very own Irish stew outdoors!
Prep: 20 mins                       Total: 2hours
                              Cooking: 1hour 30 mins        Servings: 8 servings                    
Ingredients for traditional irish stew  

We acquired all our ingredients from one of our favourite local farm shops, Oakchurch. We love their commitment to support local Herefordshire farmers and small businesses (including us!) and due to low food miles, the ingredients are always so fresh and tasty. Whenever possible, support your local producers. Just look at all their fabulous selection of produce!

Oakchurch farm shop doesn't only offer fresh and sustainably produced foods, it also boasts a fabulous cafe, gift and clothing shop. We also added a lovely seeded bread to our basket to couple with our stew as we couldn't but be tempted with their selection of freshly baked, deliciously smelling bread. 

fresh produce from oakchurch farm shopStewing Steak from Oakchurch farm shop- fresh produce locallyoakchurch farm shop hereford local

Tempted you to visit? Here's where you'll need to go:

oakchurch farm shop local


Step 1: 

Firstly, set up your firepit. We used our Firepit Plain Jane from Firepits UK to light our fire in and Grill & Chill logs which are thinner cut and so making it easier to control the heat output. You can light your fire in two ways:

1. Using kindling and a  Flamer natural firelighter and creating a jenga shape in a top down or traditional logs-on-top method

2. Using our new KindleFlamer where you require no kindling at all and simply place the KindleFlamer between two logs

We used a Hungarian-style kotlich to cook our stew in as pictured below. This is a great appliance which hangs on a adjustable chain from a tripod, making it easy to lift or drop depending on how much heat you want. 


  traditional way of lighting a fire flamer and kindlinglighting a fire with a kindleflamerhungarian styled kotlich

Step Two:

Peel, chop and dice your fresh vegetables ready for cooking. 

chopping leeks for irish stewchopping cabbage for irish stewfresh produce for irish stew

After this step, why not use your vegetable peelings to add your compost?

food waste for compostingcomposting with food waste

Start Three:

After preparing your fresh organic produce, pour  oil into your kotlich and let it heat up. Add chopped onion into the pot and fry until browned. Mix occasionally to not let the onion burn - depending on the heat of your fire, this could take anything between 4-10 minutes.  

organic oil in kotlichfrying onion in kotlichkotlich and firepit for cooking on wood

Step Four:

Once sizzling, proceed to add the chopped leeks and carrots and let everything cook until softened. 

cooking fresh leeks for irish stewadding organic carrots to kotlichmixing carrots and leeks

Step Five:

Add the meat and make sure to stir the contents so the meat cooks evenly. We cooked ours for approximately 30 minutes but it will depend on the heat of your fire. The meat should brown all over before moving onto step six. 


fresh stewing steak for irish stewcooking beef in a irish stew cooking on woodcooked organic beef 

Step Six:

Once your meat is cooked, it is time to add your potatoes. Mix well and let it fry for a few minutes. 

cooking irish stew with potatoes organic produce for irish stew

Step Seven:

Add the flour, salt and pepper and mix it all up. Let it fry for a couple of minutes then add the stock. Give it a good mix, cover with a lid and let it cook for half an hour on a good heat, with an occasional mix preventing it from burning on the bottom. Make sure to add more logs when required. 

adding flour to thicken irish stewadding flour to irish stew to thickenadding beef stock to traditional irish stewadding stock to irish stew 

 Step Eight:

After half an hour of cooking on good heat, you should have a nice thick stew. Add shredded cabbage leaves, give your stew a stir and pop the lid on. Leave to cook for another 15-20 minutes.

adding cabbage to contents of irish stewcooking irish stew

Step Nine:

Carefully lift the lid and give it a stir. Grab a spoon and have a taste of the potatoes. These should be soft and rather than hard. Leave cooking for longer if required until the potatoes have softened nicely and the meat breaks apart easily. 

cooked irish stew cooking outdoorscooking irish stew outside

 Step Ten:

Once cooked, dish up and serve to friends and family. We paired it with some bread we purchased from our local farm shop (they make it fresh every day!) If you want to be more adventurous, you could try making your own campfire bread too. Get the recipe here.

cooked irish stew outdoorssharing outdoor food with freinds


[1] History of Irish Stew- - (15/03/22)