Hearty Irish Lamb Stew Recipe: A Taste of Home

As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I am thrilled to share with you my recipe for traditional Irish Lamb Stew. This hearty dish is the epitome of comfort food, utilizing simple ingredients to create a warming and satisfying meal.

The humble origins of this stew can be traced back to rural Ireland where it was commonly made by families using locally sourced lamb, potatoes, onions, and carrots. Today, it has become a beloved dish around the world and is often enjoyed as a part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

The key to making a delicious Irish Lamb Stew lies in the slow-cooking process that allows the flavors to fully develop and mingle together. I have included detailed instructions and tips to ensure that your stew comes out perfectly every time.

So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to make a pot of comfort that will warm both your stomach and soul.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Lamb Stew
Irish Lamb Stew

If there’s one dish that truly embodies the essence of Irish comfort food, it’s Irish Lamb Stew. This classic recipe is a favorite among families and food lovers all over the world. But why should you bother trying this recipe in particular? Well, let me tell you why you’ll absolutely adore it.

First of all, this stew’s flavor profile is nothing short of remarkable. The combination of tender, succulent lamb shoulder with aromatic bay leaves and sprigs of rosemary creates a deliciously fragrant and rich broth that will tantalize your taste buds. Carrots and potatoes are added to the mix to create a hearty and nourishing dish that’s perfect for chilly evenings.

Secondly, the recipe is easy to customize according to your own tastes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add garlic or shallots for an extra dose of flavor. Or, if you prefer things on the milder side, you can adjust the amount of black pepper and salt to your liking.

Another great thing about this recipe is its versatility. Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or just for yourself, it can be easily scaled up or down depending on your needs. Plus, if you have any leftovers, they’re sure to taste even better the next day!

But perhaps most importantly, this Irish Lamb Stew recipe is steeped in tradition and history. It has been enjoyed by family members for generations in Ireland and beyond. The long slow cook process ensures that all the flavors meld together into a deliciously satisfying meal – a true testament to the time-honored tradition of Irish cooking.

So why not give this easy-to-follow recipe a try? With its warming aroma and tender meat, it’s sure to become a family favorite in no time at all.

Ingredient List

 A bowl of comfort on a chilly day.
A bowl of comfort on a chilly day.

Let’s Gather Our Stew Ingredients

To make a traditional Irish lamb stew, we will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced into chunks
  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 3 cups of beef broth or Guinness beer (for extra flavor)

Note: Recipe ingredients give us more flexibility than rigid requirements; don’t be afraid to get creative with your herbs and spices. Don’t have lamb? You can use beef, mutton, or even chuck roast instead. Potatoes and onions are a must-have in most variations of Irish stews.

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect balance of savory and hearty.
The perfect balance of savory and hearty.

Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients

First, begin by preparing all the ingredients. Cut the lamb stew meat into 2-inch pieces and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Peel and cut the potatoes into large chunks, slice the carrots, chop the garlic cloves, and finely chop the shallots and leeks.

Step 2: Browning the Lamb

In a large Dutch oven pot over medium heat, add in some olive oil and brown the lamb shoulder cut for about 10-12 minutes until browned on all sides. This gives the lamb an irresistible golden color and adds a deep flavor to the stew.

Step 3: Adding Vegetables and Seasonings

Once the lamb is browned, add in the chopped shallots, leeks, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, and some additional black pepper. Let this cook for a minute then add in some all-purpose flour to thicken up the broth. Stir for about two minutes until everything is well coated.

Step 4: Adding Liquids

Add in enough beef broth to cover everything then let it come to a boil. Next up add in your Guinness beer to give this dish its authentic Irish flavors.

Step 5: Simmering

Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and let everything cook together for about an hour or until your lamb is tender.

Step 6: Adding Potatoes and Carrots

Add in your potatoes and carrots then cover everything. Allow it to simmer for another thirty minutes until vegetables are soft.

Step 7: Adjusting Seasonings

Now that your stew is almost ready it’s time to adjust your seasoning with more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve hot with crusty bread or buttery mashed potatoes for an Irish meal worth celebrating.

Substitutions and Variations

 Tender lamb, potatoes, and vegetables in every bite.
Tender lamb, potatoes, and vegetables in every bite.

Though this Irish lamb stew recipe is delicious as is, there are some substitutions and variations you can try to mix it up.

For example, instead of using lamb shoulder, you can use mutton or chuck roast for a different flavor profile. You can also switch up the vegetables by adding in parsnips or turnips alongside the potatoes and carrots.

If you prefer a bit of heat, add in some red pepper flakes or diced jalapenos. For a richer taste, substitute beef broth with Guinness beer—this will give the stew a slightly bitter and deep flavor.

Moreover, if you’d like to make this recipe even easier, consider using a slow cooker. Just follow the recipe how-to section but set your slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours.

Regardless of which substitution or variation you choose, just remember to stick to the core ingredients of garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, thyme and black pepper. Still not sure what direction to take this Irish lamb stew? Trust your taste buds—experiment and have fun!

Serving and Pairing

 A classic Irish dish that warms the soul.
A classic Irish dish that warms the soul.

Irish Lamb Stew is a hearty and satisfying meal that is perfect for cold evenings. When serving this stew, I recommend garnishing with a sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme to add a fragrant aroma and enhance the visual appeal.

To elevate the flavors of the dish, you can pair it with a light-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir or Zinfandel. If you prefer beer, opt for a rich and malty Irish Red Ale or a full-bodied Stout such as Guinness – which is also one of the stew ingredients.

For a complete meal, serve the Irish Lamb Stew with warm crusty bread, ideally soda bread or sourdough to soak up all the delicious broth. You can also add a side salad with fresh greens, sliced cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes tossed in a tangy vinaigrette to balance out the richness of the stew.

This stew is also versatile enough to be served over mashed potatoes if you want to make it even heartier. The combination of tender lamb meat, potatoes, onions and carrots makes it a perfect comfort food that satisfies your appetite while warming you up from the inside out.

Overall, serving this traditional Irish stew is quite easy as it pairs well with various accompaniments depending on your taste preference. Just make sure to prepare enough because once everyone gets a taste of this dish, they’ll likely go back for seconds!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Bring the taste of the Emerald Isle to your table.
Bring the taste of the Emerald Isle to your table.

Making Irish Lamb Stew a day ahead is a smart move, as it allows the ingredients to meld together and develop even more flavor. Once prepared, let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat the stew either in a large pot on the stove or in a slow-cooker on low heat.

If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days or frozen for up to three months. Before reheating, thaw the stew overnight in the fridge to ensure that it heats evenly. For best results, reheat the stew on low heat, stirring occasionally until piping hot.

It’s essential not to skip the cooling process before storing leftover stew as this speeds up bacterial growth and affects its shelf-life. Furthermore, many claim that reheated stews taste better than freshly made ones because it gives all ingredients time to soak and intensify in flavor. So make sure you save some of this delicious stew for later and have an excellent meal ready when you are short on time!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma of Irish Lamb Stew will make your mouth water.
The aroma of Irish Lamb Stew will make your mouth water.

Here are a few tips to make sure your Irish Lamb Stew turns out perfect every time:

First, make sure to trim the excess fat off the stew meat before cooking. This will allow for a more tender and flavorful end product.

When it comes to seasoning the stew, be sure to add salt and black pepper to taste, but also experiment with different herbs like rosemary and thyme. These herbs will add a depth of flavor that will complement the natural richness of the lamb.

Another important tip is to not overcook the potatoes and carrots. These vegetables can turn mushy if they are left in the stew for too long, so try adding them towards the end of the cooking process.

Using a slow cooker is also a great option for making this dish. The low and slow method allows for the flavors to meld together beautifully, resulting in a mouth-watering stew.

If you’re looking to switch things up or don’t have access to lamb shoulder, an alternative option would be to use chuck roast or mutton instead. This substitution will yield a similar flavor profile and give you just as delicious results.

Finally, don’t forget that this recipe is versatile and can be adapted to your personal preferences. Feel free to play around with different ingredients or spices to make it your own unique Irish Lamb Stew recipe.


As we wrap up this Irish Lamb Stew Recipe article, you may have some lingering questions about the recipe or possibly even its traditional Irish roots. Fear not, this FAQ section has been designed to address some of the most common queries and uncertainties. From tips on ingredient substitutions to instructions for reheating leftovers, these FAQs will make sure you have all the information you need to successfully tackle this delicious stew recipe.

What makes Irish stew different from regular stew?

While both beef stew and Irish stew are hearty, comforting dishes, they differ in their meat selection and broth. Beef stew usually calls for cubes of beef, like stew meat or chuck roast, while Irish stew traditionally features lamb or mutton with a flavorful beer-based broth.

What is traditional Irish stew made of?

Although some may insist that a true Irish stew should only contain mutton, onions, and potatoes, the fact of the matter is that an authentic recipe can include a variety of other vegetables. In fact, adding combinations such as carrots, celery, turnips, swedes, parsnips, leek, kale, and cabbage to the pot is not only entirely acceptable but also a long-standing tradition.

What is Irish stew called in Ireland?

The well-known Irish stew, also known as “ballymaloe” or “stobhach gaelach” in Gaelic, is made up of hearty chunks of lamb or mutton, alongside potatoes, onions, and parsley, as per its conventional recipe.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Irish Lamb Stew Recipe is a must-try for all food enthusiasts. This traditional Irish dish is perfect for cold days and will surely satisfy your taste buds. With its rich flavors and hearty ingredients, this recipe will surely become a favorite among your friends and family.

Not only is this dish easy to make with readily available ingredients, but it also offers great versatility when it comes to substitutions and variations. Moreover, it can be made-ahead, stored and reheated, making it an ideal candidate for meal prepping.

So, whether you are looking for a warm comfort meal or simply taking a break from everyday meals, the Irish Lamb Stew Recipe is definitely worth trying. Give it a shot and the heavenly aroma of rosemary and bay leaves will fill your kitchen in no time!

Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew Recipe

I adopted this recipe as a RecipeZaar orphan, and have made a few changes to suit my own taste. This is a nice, simple stew; perfect for making the most of the good quality local lamb.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, European, Healthy, Lamb/Sheep, Low Cholesterol, Meat, St. Patrick's Day, Stew, Weeknight
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Calories 471.9kcal


  • 1 lb stewing lamb
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium shallots, chopped
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 -3 bay leaves
  • 1 lb potato, cut into pieces
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 cups rutabagas, diced
  • 1 lb frozen peas


  • Cut lamb into cubes.
  • Peel and roughly chop the shallots, and slice and rinse the leek.
  • Peel and dice the potatoes, carrots and rutabaga.
  • Heat oil in a heavy saucepan, add lamb and cook until lightly browned, remove from pan.
  • Add shallots, leeks and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the shallots and stir until mixture browns.
  • Gradually add stock while stirring.
  • Return meat to saucepan.
  • Add salt, pepper, rosemary and bay leaves.
  • Cover and simmer until meat is almost tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and turnips, and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes longer.
  • About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve the stew, add the peas and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • If you are expecting to have leftovers, it's best to divide the stew beforehand and add the peas (in proportion) only to the part being served. Reheat the remaining stew and add the remaining peas just before serving.


Serving: 613g | Calories: 471.9kcal | Carbohydrates: 52.8g | Protein: 34.7g | Fat: 13.9g | Saturated Fat: 3.4g | Cholesterol: 73.7mg | Sodium: 1275.8mg | Fiber: 10.9g | Sugar: 13.1g

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