You are here: HomeSupports & Training
  • Food tourism
  • The story of lamb Print Page
  • The story of lamb

    While mutton featured in the Irish diet as far back as Viking times and beyond, the sheep was of greater economic value as a source of wool and milk than as a source of meat.

    Sheep were traditionally butchered later in their lives, and the resulting mutton was a tougher, stronger flavoured meat than today’s lamb, and required long, slow cooking. Mutton neck chops were cooked slowly over an open fire with winter herbs and root vegetables to make Irish stew.

    Until recent decades, spring lamb was very much the seasonal treat. Today, lamb’s offal such as sweetbreads, liver and kidney are showcased on many restaurant menus, alongside some lamb unique to particular mountainous regions where the wild flower and herb-rich diet results in particularly flavoursome meat.

    One by-product of Cork’s 19th-century meat export trade – a traditional blood pudding called drisheen – became particularly popular locally and can still be found in Cork’s English market.

    Roast lamb rump with pea shoots, potato salad, pea & mint velouté

    Lamp rump recipe

    Quantity Ingredients
    4 Connemara lamp rumps
    300g peas
    50g shallots
    2 cloves garlic
    250ml cream
    100ml white wine
    1 bay leaf
    2 sprigs thyme
    300g baby potatoes
    1 gherkin
    10g capers
    1 tbsp crème fraiche
    ½ tbsp dill
    ½ tbsp parsley
    1 punnet pea shoots
    200g snow peas
    20g mint leaves
      Salt and pepper


    1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

    2. Blanch the snow peas and cook the potatoes in boiling water. Also cook the other peas and refresh with cold water, keep the water for later. 

    3. Dice shallots and garlic, sweat off half of both, add the wine, thyme and bay leaf. Reduce till almost all of the wine is gone, add cream bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. 

    4. Seal the lamb on all sides, place in the oven for 10 minutes and remove to rest. 

    5. Sweat off the rest of the shallots and garlic, crush or dice the cooked potato, chop gherkin, capers, parsley and dill. Mix all ingredients together with the crème fraiche.

    6. To finish the velouté, add 100g of the peas to the cream bring back to simmer, remove bay leaf and thyme. Add chopped mint leaves and blend. 

    7. Put the peas and snow peas back in the boiling water, cook and strain.

    8. Add the chopped pea shoots and season.

    9. Drizzle the velouté around the plate, place the potato salad off centre, add the lamb on top and place the pea salad next to the lamb.

    - See more at:

    Did You Know?

    ... that Connemara Hill Lamb Ltd. achieved the European protected geographical indication (PGI) status in 2007, and received the Irish Food Writers Guild Award for its notable contribution to Irish food?

    230x100 Fergus-O-Halloran Original

    Find out more about the creator of this delicious recipe.

    Read more about Food Champion Fergus O'Halloran

    For this recipe you can use sour cream or mayonnaise instead of crème fraiche. Also if the sauce is too thick, add some of the water used to cook the peas to loosen. 

    Fergus O’Halloran
    Twelve Hotel, Co Galway