THE Dish: Darina Allen's St. Patty's Day stew

Ballymaloe Irish Stew by chef Darina Allen, prepared on "CBS This Morning: Saturday," March 17, 2012.

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- "THE Dish" went international in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and who better to represent the green than Ireland's best-known chef, Darina Allen?

Darina, who's been called "the Julia Child of Ireland," founded Ireland's top cooking school, the Ballymaloe Cookery School, which sits in the middle of acres of organic farmland -- remarkably, the only school like it in the world. She joined "CBS This Morning: Saturday" with her ultimate dish: Ballymaloe Irish Stew.

Darina, a chef, teacher, food writer, newspaper columnist, cookbook author and TV host, has received numerous accolades. In addition to Ballymaloe Cookery School, the Allen family owns and operates numerous businesses, including the Ballymaloe Inn.

While all St. Patrick's Days are close to Darina's heart, there's one in particular that stands out -- in 1995, she cooked breakfast for President Clinton and 150 guests. Mr. Clinton is hardly the only one drawn to her Irish cuisine -- Ballymaloe has had many famous guests, among them, Jude Law and Queen Sonja of Norway.

Enjoy all our recipes!


All recipes Copyright Ballymaloe Cookery School


Serves 4-6

  • 2-1/2 - 3 lbs lamb chops (gigot or rack chops) not less than 1 inch thick
  • 8 medium or 12 baby carrots
  • 8 medium or 12 baby onions
  • 8 - 12 potatoes, or more if you like
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1-1/2 - 1-3/4 pints (3-3/4 - 4-1/4 cups) stock (lamb stock if possible) or water
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) roux, optional (see recipe)


  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) freshly chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/gas mark 4.

Cut the chops in half and trim off some of the excess fat. Set aside. Render down the fat on a gentle heat in a heavy pan (discard the rendered down pieces).

Peel the onions and scrape or thinly peel the carrots (if they are young you could leave some of the green stalk on the onion and carrot). Cut the carrots into large chunks, or if they are small leave them whole. If the onions are large, cut them into quarters through the root, if they are small they are best left whole.

Toss the meat in the hot fat on the pan until it is slightly brown. Transfer the meat into a casserole, then quickly toss the onions and carrots in the fat. Build the meat, carrots and onions up in layers in the casserole, carefully season each layer with freshly ground pepper and salt. De-glaze the pan with lamb stock and pour into the casserole. Peel the potatoes and lay them on top of the casserole, so they will steam while the stew cooks. Season the potatoes. Add a sprig of thyme, bring to the boil on top of the stove, cover with a butter wrapper or paper lid and the lid of the saucepan. Transfer to a moderate oven or allow to simmer on top of the stove until the stew is cooked, 1- 1 1/2 hours approximately, depending on whether the stew is being made with lamb or hogget.

When the stew is cooked, pour off the cooking liquid, de-grease and reheat in another saucepan. Thicken slightly by whisking in a little roux. Check the seasoning, then add chopped parsley and chives. Pour over the meat and vegetables. Bring the stew back up to boiling point and serve from the pot or in a large pottery dish.

For more of Darina's recipes, go to Page 2.