For traditional Irish stew in a slow cooker, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a frying pan, and add 7 ounces of bacon. Cook until crisp, and add 2 pounds stewing lamb cut into chunks. Cook until the lamb is browned.
Transfer the bacon and lamb to the slow cooker. Add 3 sliced onions, 5 carrots cut into chunks, and 6 potatoes peeled and cut into chunks. Add 23 ounces of lamb stock and enough water to cover the meat. Season with thyme and bay leaves. Cook on low for seven hours.
Add 3 ounces of pearl barley and 1 chopped leek to the stew. Cook an additional hour. Stir in 1 tablespoon butter, and serve.
The Food Network recipe calls for putting in the potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic into the slow cooker first, and adding 2 tablespoons parsley and 12 ounces of stout. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
Dredge chunks of beef chuck roast in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, and brown in melted butter. Add the beef and 2 cups chicken broth to the slow cooker. Use an additional cup of broth to scrape the brown bits from the skillet, and add to the slow cooker. Cook on high for six hours.Learn more about Cooking