Lamb and Barley Hot Pot Recipe by Brian McDermott

This Lamb and Barley Hot Pot Recipe is so simple to make but it’s always a real winner. It’s healthy and nutritious, but it also has that one-pot comfort-food vibe which never goes wrong, especially in the winter.

Give it a go and this recipe will become a firm favourite in your house, I promise.

Serves 6


75g barley
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
600g lamb, diced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 small onions, diced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
1 carrot, diced
1 parsnip, diced
2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
1 litre vegetable stock, warmed
4 medium potatoes
Handful of fresh parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
2. Cook the barley in boiling water for approximately 25 minutes. Drain and leave aside.
3. Heat a casserole dish, add some of the oil and lightly colour the diced lamb. Add the garlic, onions, bay leaves and 2 sprigs of thyme, and sweat for a few minutes.
4. Season with pepper, then add the carrot, parsnip and celery and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Add the cooked barley followed by the warmed stock. Cover with a lid and simmer for approximately 40 minutes or until the lamb is tender.
6. While the lamb is cooking, peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Pan fry them in the rest of the oil, turning regularly, until tender. Remove the leaves from the remaining sprig of thyme and sprinkle over the potatoes. Season with pepper.
7. Arrange the potatoes on top of the lamb and replace in the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Brian’s Tip: You could also make this using leftover cooked lamb from your Sunday roast, or try replacing lamb with stewing beef and 100 ml of local porter.


Brian McDermott has built a national reputation as a chef on one simple belief – that tasty, healthy food based around traditional recipes and local produce is something every family can make and enjoy.

Every family can enjoy this collection of achievable, affordable and accessible recipes celebrating the best of Donegal’s warmth and traditions.

Whether it’s cooking freshly-caught mussels for the fishermen at Greencastle pier or sharing his skills with others at his cookery school, Brian loves to celebrate the best of his home county’s warmth and traditions.

Brian McDermott Brian McDermott

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