Sheep outnumber people in Iceland by a factor of 3, and lamb stew is one of the most popular and traditional dishes in Iceland. After tasting several delicious lamb stews during my recent trip there, this recipe is my best recreation of Icelandic lamb stew! It’s very hearty and meaty — the lamb meat is stewed until tender and easily shredded.
Hearty and meaty lamb stew — the lamb meat is stewed until tender and easily shredded.

  • 3 pounds bone-in lamb meat
  • 1.5 pounds potatoes chopped
  • 1/2 pound carrots chopped
  • 1/2 pound celery chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb minced
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Place lamb and salt in a large pot. Sear the meat over medium-high heat until it browns and gets a little charred.
  2. Add enough water to the pot to cover the lamb meat, about 15 cups. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to let it simmer for 1 hour. Skim off any excess fat that floats to the surface.
  3. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and thyme. Add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer until the lamb meat becomes easily shreddable and is falling apart from the bone, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove the bones and discard. Break apart the meat into small chunks. Season some more if necessary, and mix well. Ready to serve!


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