Chef's Recipes

Colin Fassnidge’s Irish stew

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for Colin Fassnidge’s Irish stew by Colin Fassnidge from Four in Hand restaurant in Sydney.

By Colin Fassnidge
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 12 hrs cooking plus draining
  • Serves 6
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Colin Fassnidge’s Irish stew
“This is the essence of an Irish stew, just modernised in the Four in Hand way.” You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 120 ml olive oil
  • 1.5 kg piece of lamb shoulder, bone in
  • 1 litre brown chicken stock (4 cups)
  • 1 each carrot, celery stalk and onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 each fresh bay leaf and rosemary sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig, plus 1 tsp extra thyme leaves
  • 130 gm softened butter
  • 3 small Japanese eggplant, halved lengthways, flesh scored
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 600 gm kipfler potatoes, scrubbed, coarsely chopped
  • 18 baby carrots, trimmed
  • 12 each finger fennel, halved (see note), and baby turnips, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped mint
  • To garnish: fennel pollen (see note)
Salsa verde
  • 1 cup each mint, basil and flat-leaf parsley (loosely packed)
  • 80 ml olive oil, or to taste (1/3 cup)
  • 60 ml red wine vinegar (¼ cup)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 white anchovies
  • 1 tbsp small salted capers, rinsed


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 90C. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add lamb and turn occasionally until browned (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a deep roasting tray large enough to fit lamb snugly, add stock, chopped carrot, celery, onion and whole herbs, cover with baking paper and foil and cook until lamb falls from the bone (12 hours). Carefully remove bone, then baste lamb with pan juices and 50gm butter to glaze. Keep warm.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, scatter eggplant with 2 tsp salt and stand until bitter juices drain (15-20 minutes), then wipe off moisture with absorbent paper. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan over high heat, add eggplant, cut-side down, and cook until golden (1-2 minutes), then add 30gm butter and garlic and cook until foamy (1 minute). Turn eggplant, remove from heat and set aside for 1 minute.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for salsa verde, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth, season to taste.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, cook potato in simmering salted water until tender (20-30 minutes). Blanch baby carrot, fennel and turnip in a separate saucepan until just tender (4-5 minutes). Mix potato with half the remaining butter and chopped mint in a serving dish, keep warm. Combine baby vegetables and eggplant, remaining butter and thyme leaves in a separate serving dish, season to taste, keep warm.
  • 5
    Serve lamb hot with pan sauces, potato, baby vegetables and salsa verde, garnished with fennel pollen.


Finger fennel and fennel pollen are available from specialist greengrocers. If finger fennel is unavailable, use baby fennel cut into thin wedges.
This recipe is from the August 2010 issue of
Drink Suggestion: Australian cabernet with a little grunt such as a good Coonawarra. Drink suggestion by Stephen Craig

  • Author: Colin Fassnidge