Leftover Lamb Stew

There should be a hyphen somewhere in the title, but what I mean is: Stew made from leftover lamb. Whatever...

1 quart or so of water

leftover roast lamb, diced (2 cups or less; if you have more, you can add more water)

Bones from the roast

2 or 3 yellow onions diced

1 carrot peeled and diced

3 or 4 stalks of celery, diced

1/4 cup or so chopped fresh parsley leaves

About 1/3 cup dried pearl barley - it expands a lot, so it’s easy to use too much


White pepper (ground white pepper has a special flavor, but it’s hot so use sparingly, adding a little, letting soup simmer and then add more if you wish).

Using a large stock pot, cook all of this together for an hour or two, then fish out the bones. Better the next day.


This is what we did recently as an alternative, and with a bit more volume.

3 lamb shanks
2 yellow onions (they were kinda big)
3 carrots (they were kinda small)
5 stalks of celery
a wad of parsley
1/2 cup of dried pearl barley

Season the shanks with salt, pepper, Italian herbs, and rosemary. Small-dice the veggies. Brown the shanks in the bottom of a big stock pot with some olive oil. *I had added slivers of raw garlic at the beginning, which was a mistake, as it wanted to burn during the browning -- instead, I'd add it at the end of the browning phase, just long enough to toast a bit.)

Add water to just cover the meat and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for ~2 hours, turning once.

When the meat is starting to pull easily from the bone, add the onion/carrot/celery and the barley, some salt, and more water if it's too thick. Simmer another 20 minutes or so, until veggies are soft and barley is tender. Scrape/shred the remaining meat off the bones, remove them, and add the parsley. Taste and add salt or water if needed. 

-- MB Dec 2021

In May 2024 Kate made a particularly good batch from leftover leg + leftover gravy (just a bit) + about a cup of barley + like 6 stalks of celery + 2 carrots + 1 medium onion (was a lot of lamb to work with.) Marjoram and (fresh) thyme and a bit of umami powder (kombu seaweed etc.) and a hefty dose of white pepper were involved.