Preheat oven to 200C. Toss lamb in flour, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper until well coated. Shake off excess.
Heat 1 tbs 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 tbs 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 tsp 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 32cm length, then flatten until 1cm thick. Join ends together to form a circle. Place on a lined oven tray, scatter with remaining 3 tbs flour and cover with a clean tea towel.
Increase oven to 210C. Divide lamb stew among 6 x 500ml pot pie dishes, then top with dough. Bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.


  • 1 kg lamb shoulder, cut into 4cm 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 tbs thyme leaves, chopped
  • Soda bread crust
  • 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk