Friday, January 4, 2019


I love Irish stew, but sometimes I want another recipe for lamb. I’ve probably complained here before that the only lamb I can find in my supermarket comes all the way from Australia, so I’m paying airfare for it, which seems ridiculous, but it survives the trip well.

This past weekend there were lovely cuts of (yes, Australian) lamb on sale at the market. I’d made Irish stew recently, so I went hunting for a new and different recipe. What I found was an Irish lamb recipe involving lamb, bacon, cabbage, mushrooms and wine, It turned out to be a perfect flavorful winter dish.

Roast Lamb Fillet with Cabbage and Mushrooms


1 lb. lamb, trimmed of fat (one large single piece)

Vegetable oil for frying

1 small green cabbage, finely shredded (I had half a purple cabbage lurking in the fridge, so I used that, and shredded it in my food processor)

4 Tblsp butter

4 oz. unsmoked bacon, diced

6 oz wild mushrooms (whatever variety is available), sliced if large

2 oz. red wine (I had a nice bottle of Cabernet)

2 Tblsp port (optional)

Salt and pepper


Cut the meat into pieces weighing about one quarter pound each. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a small metal roasting pan and sear the lamb until it is sealed on all sides (do not overcook).

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the lamb in its pan in the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes (if you like your lamb medium-rare) or longer. Remove the pan from the oven and keep warm.

While the lamb is cooking, boil the shredded cabbage until tender (about five minutes). Add 2 Tblsp of butter, salt and pepper, toss and keep warm. 

Fry the diced bacon in the remaining 2 Tblsp of butter until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms and saute lightly. Keep warm.

Pour the wine and port into the baking pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Then pour the liquid over the mushrooms and bacon, and add salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, make a pile of the cabbage in the center of each serving plate. Slice the individual pieces of lamb and lay the slices on the cabbage. Scatter the mushrooms, bacon and some of the sauce around the edge.

Serve immediately!

It was delicious. The only drawback was that it produced a whole lot of dishes to wash (and my electric dishwasher hasn’t worked for a long time). But it was worth it.

It's a bit of a tribute to the next County Cork Mystery, The Lost Traveller, which will be released next week. One new character is a chef in a Skibbereen restaurant (based on a real one that I had to sample, and then I got to tour the kitchen, which was a treat. In the next book in the series that will appear in 2020 (still nameless) Maura and her crew will rebuild the kitchen at Sullivan's Pub and begin serving food (because that's what's happening at Connolly's of Leap, the inspiration for the series).

Here's what Library Journal had to say about it:

“This seventh in Anthony and Agatha Award nominee Connolly’s ‘County Cork Mystery’ series (after Many a Twist) is a thoughtfully executed and charmingly talkative cozy. The Irish setting is authentic, Maura is a delight, and the characters are gaining depth as this series matures.” Library Journal starred review


  1. Oh, I do need to find some good lamb now! I ate a good deal of it when I lived in Europe, yet I think I may have had it twice in the last 26 years since I have been back in the States! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  2. My husband and I love lamb!
    This looks quite tasty.
    What cut of meat did you use?

    1. I think it's the top part of a hind leg (the whole thing weighed only two pounds, before I removed the bone and some of the fat). It may have traveled a few thousand miles, but it was definitely fresh and tender.