Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 1 kg lamb shoulder, cut into 4 cm cubes
  • 35 g (¼ cup) plain flour
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) stout beer
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped 


Soda bread crust

  • 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need 6 x 500 ml pot pie dishes.

Preheat oven to 200C. Toss lamb in flour, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper until well coated. Shake off excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large flameproof pan over high heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same pan over high heat and brown half the lamb for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with remaining 1 tbs oil and lamb. Return lamb and onion mixture to pan with stout and thyme, and bring to the boil, stirring. Cover and bake in oven for 1 hour or until lamb is tender.

Meanwhile, to make soda bread crust, place 300 g flour, bicarb soda and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in buttermilk. Mix with a wooden spoon using a cutting action until combined. Add more buttermilk if needed, to form a smooth dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape into 6 logs. Roll each log out to a 32 cm length, then flatten until 1cm thick. Join ends together to form a circle. Place on a lined oven tray, scatter with remaining 3 tablespoons flour and cover with a clean tea towel.

Increase oven to 210ºC. Divide lamb stew among 6 x 500 ml pot pie dishes, then top with dough. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 15, pg82

Photography by Brett Stevens.