Irish Stew: A Perfectly Hearty Meal for Cold Days

Welcome! Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite Irish Stew Recipe. This hearty and comforting meal is easy to make and perfect for a chilly night in. As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I can tell you that this classic Irish dish will warm your heart and soul as it has been doing for centuries.

Irish stew is an ancient dish rooted in Ireland’s northern region, where historically, people cooked big hearty meals using simple ingredients. The dish was once made with mutton or lamb, root vegetables, onions, and potatoes. However, over time the recipe evolved to include beef, chicken or vegetarian options.

The traditional Irish stew has come a long way and today we are talking about a slow-cooked meal that incorporates dark beer or Guinness, low sodium beef broth, potatoes, carrots turnips and little more. Trust me; this simple recipe delivers maximum flavor that your whole family will enjoy!

Whether you’re cooking for friends or family or trying to impress someone on a date night at home – this Irish Stew recipe will not disappoint. So let’s jump right into the ingredients list and start cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Stew
Irish Stew

Friends, let’s talk about the Irish Stew Recipe! If you are one of those food lovers that craves for a warm, classic and filling dish during chilly winter nights, this recipe is a must-try for you. Trust me; it’s more than just another stew recipe.

This traditional Irish stew recipe is a warm bowl of comfort that will make your taste buds dance. It is packed with root veggies like turnips, carrots, onions and, most importantly, potatoes. This hearty stew is cooked to perfection with tender beef chuck or lamb meat, slow-simmered in a dark beer broth until savory as can be.

Not only does it taste divine, but Irish stew also has a fascinating backstory. Tracing back to ancient times in Ireland, this stew remains embedded in the country’s culture and history. Preparing this Irish beef stew or lamb stew with potatoes or turnips was considered a favorite meal among puritan communities in Northern Ireland. Over time the dish became widely popular throughout the countryside.

Moreover, this recipe uses no-added-salt tomato paste and low-sodium beef broth to keep it nutritious and healthy. Not to mention its thick consistency obtained by adding cornstarch slurry: simple yet satisfying.

And for all you vegetarians out there, do not worry! You can easily switch out the meat for tender chicken or replace it entirely with root vegetables for an authentic vegetable Irish stew.

In summary, this Irish stew recipe is a simple yet delicious way to add some warmth and comfort into your life during any season. It connects us with history while nourishing our bodies and pleasing our taste buds. So why limit yourself? Give this recipe a try today!

Ingredient List

“Cozy up with a bowl of hearty Irish Stew”

Before we start cooking, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients you’ll need for this traditional Irish stew recipe.


For this recipe, we will be using 2 pounds of beef stew meat. You can use chuck roast or any meat cut that is suitable for stewing. Lamb stew meat is also a popular option for Irish lamb stew.


Make sure to prepare carrots, potatoes, and turnips. Peel and cut them into bite-sized chunks. We’ll also need onion, sliced thinly.

Broth and Beer

The liquid for our base comes from a combination of low-sodium beef broth and dark beer – Guinness is a traditional choice in Ireland.

Herbs and Spices

To season the dish, we’ll use some bay leaves, rosemary, black pepper, and garlic. You can also add other herbs like thyme if you wish.

Flour and Tomato Paste

We’ll also need some all-purpose flour to coat the meat before browning it as well as some no-added-salt tomato paste to add richness to the sauce.

Oil and Butter

Lastly, you’ll need some cooking fat such as olive oil or canola oil for browning the meat and sautéing the vegetables. We’ll also add a tablespoon of butter towards the end of the recipe to enhance flavor and cook down the sauce to make it thicker.

Now that we have all our ingredients on hand, let’s get started with preparing this hearty dish.

The Recipe How-To

“Our Irish Stew is comfort in a pot”

Step 1: Season the meat generously with salt and black pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef and set aside.

Step 2: Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pot, followed by 1 large diced onion and 3 minced garlic cloves. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.

Step 3: Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine with the onions and garlic. Cook for an additional minute.

Step 4: Stir in a can of no-added-salt tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, and 2 bay leaves. Cook for another minute.

Step 5: Pour in a bottle of dark beer and bring to a boil over high heat, scraping any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Step 6: Add back the browned beef, along with 3 cups of low-sodium beef broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover.

Step 7: Simmer for about an hour, then add in chopped carrots, turnips, and potatoes (about a pound each). Be sure to cut vegetables into evenly sized pieces so they cook evenly.

Step 8: Continue to simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender and liquid has thickened up slightly, about another hour or so.

Step 9: Remove bay leaves before serving. If the stew needs more thickening, whisk together well with water or cornstarch and stir gently into the stew until it reaches your desired thickness.

Enjoy your Irish Stew Recipe, traditional comfort food that withstands time!

Substitutions and Variations

“The perfect warm meal to fend off the chilly weather”

When it comes to cooking, there are always ways to make a recipe your own. Here are some suggestions for substitutions and variations of this classic Irish stew recipe:

– Vegetarian: Simply omit the beef or lamb stew meat and replace it with an equal amount of root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, and butternut squash. You can also use vegetable broth instead of beef broth for a vegetarian version.

– Chicken: Instead of using beef or lamb stew meat, try using boneless chicken thighs. You can also swap out the dark beer for white wine and add in some fresh thyme for a delicious twist on the classic.

– Tomato-based: For a different take on this stew, try using canned diced tomatoes instead of tomato paste. You can also add in some chopped kale or spinach for added nutrition.

– Spicy: If you like a little heat, add in some crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce to the stew. You can also swap out the rosemary for some fresh cilantro and lime juice for a more Mexican-inspired flavor.

– Ancient Irish: For a truly authentic Irish stew, substitute the beef or lamb with mutton or even goat meat, which was what was traditionally used in Ireland. You can also use Guinness beer instead of dark beer and add in some barley for added texture.

No matter what substitutions or variations you choose to try, this hearty and comforting Irish stew recipe is sure to be a hit with friends and family alike!

Serving and Pairing

“Irish Stew: a classic dish with a twist”

We all know that food tastes better when it’s paired with the right drink. The Irish Stew is no exception as it pairs perfectly with a dark beer, especially Guinness, which is native to Ireland. The bittersweet flavor of the stout adds an extra depth to the richness of the stew, taking it from simply great to extraordinary.

In terms of serving, this dish is best enjoyed piping hot in the colder months as its hearty warmth will spread through your body like a cozy hug. Garnish each bowl with some fresh parsley to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

Since this recipe is already filled with wholesome ingredients like carrots, turnips, potatoes and beef or lamb stew meat – it is not necessary to add any sides! However, if you’re looking for something extra, serve this traditional Irish stew with some crusty bread or a side salad.

And there you have it! A perfect meal that will satisfy your stomach and warm your soul on those cold nights.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“This stew will leave your taste buds singing”

Welcome back to the world of Irish Stew! You may be wondering how you can prepare this delicious dish ahead of time or store it for later. The good news is that this recipe is perfect for make-ahead meals, storing, and reheating.

Irish Stew is an ideal candidate for cooking ahead of time due to its slow-cook technique. You can easily prepare the stew a day or two in advance and then reheat it when required. The flavors intensify once the spices have had time to meld together. The longer it sits in the fridge, the better it will taste!

To store the stew, let it cool down completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Make sure to leave enough headspace in the container so that there is no risk of spillage during transportation or storage.

Reheating your Irish Stew is easy and will taste just as delicious as freshly made. You can reheat the stew on the stove over low heat or in the microwave at medium power until heated thoroughly throughout. You may need to add some water or broth if the stew has thickened up during storage.

One tip to remember when reheating Irish Stew is that its flavor benefits from being given time to blend further, which means that reheating it once or even twice can improve its taste. However, you should avoid overcooking it on high heat as it may change the texture of your stew.

With all these options available, you can make a large batch of Irish Stew and enjoy it for days on end without any fuss. Let this ancient dish fill your home with its hearty aroma over and over again!

Tips for Perfect Results

“Packed with tender meat and savory vegetables”

When it comes to making the perfect Irish stew, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. Here are some recommendations to follow for a mouth-watering and satisfying dish:

1. Choose high-quality meat: The key ingredient of any good stew is the meat. Be sure to choose a good quality beef stew meat or lamb stew meat for your Irish stew. Avoid using ground meat, as it will not give you the same texture as stew meat.

2. Brown the meat before adding liquids: Browning the meat before adding liquids in your Irish stew recipe can improve its flavor and help caramelize the natural sugars in the beef or lamb. This step creates a rich and savory base for your dish.

3. Cut ingredients evenly: Cut all vegetables into similar-sized pieces so that they cook evenly. You want to ensure that each bite has an equal amount of root vegetables (such as potatoes, turnips, or carrots) married together.

4. Use low-sodium broth or vegetable stock: If you are concerned about salt content or are cooking for people with high blood pressure, consider using no-added-salt tomato paste, low sodium beef broth, or even vegetable stock in place of traditional beef broth.

5. Add fresh herbs towards the end: Adding fresh herbs like rosemary and bay leaves towards the end of the cooking process helps maintain their full flavor impact rather than cooking down over time.

6. Thicken properly: For those who like a thickened consistency, whisk cornstarch in beef broth slowly; then pour over stew after desired tenderness to combine cooked vegetable fivers completely.

7. Slowly simmer for maximum tenderness: Depending on your recipe and prefered method; slow cook on low heat on stove top or oven results in better tasting stews by allowing ingredients to cook properly while melding flavors which gets even better with slow cooked meats.

By following these tips and tricks, you can create a delicious and authentic Irish stew to enjoy on any chilly day.


As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I understand that cooking can be overwhelming and that you may have questions or concerns about the recipe. To help you out, I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for this Irish Stew Recipe. From ingredient substitutions to cooking time adjustments, these answers will assist you in making the perfect Irish stew every time. So let’s dive right into them!

What is the difference between Irish stew and regular stew?

There are some distinctions between beef stew and Irish stew that make them unique. The primary difference lies in the type of meat used and the broth. In beef stew, you’ll typically find diced or cubed beef like stew meat or chuck roast. Meanwhile, Irish stew sticks to mutton or lamb, and the broth is thicker and richer because it’s made with beer.

What is traditional Irish stew made of?

While some may argue that a genuine Irish stew must solely include onions, potatoes and mutton, the truth is that a wide range of vegetables like carrots, turnips, swedes, celery, parsnips, leek, kale and cabbage can be used to make a traditional Irish stew.

What cut of beef is best for Irish stew?

When it comes to preparing a scrumptious beef stew, selecting the right cut of meat is key. The go-to choice, commonly used by chefs, is chuck steak or braising steak. This cut is taken from the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm of the animal’s forequarter. Its availability and cost-effectiveness make it a popular option for a hearty stew.

What thickens Irish stew?

When it comes to thickening up gravies, there are three popular options to choose from: flour, cornflour, and arrowroot. Typically, flour and cornflour are preferred for savoury dishes, while arrowroot is favored for sweet treats. However, it’s worth noting that arrowroot can be used in savoury dishes as well since it doesn’t have a distinct taste.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, I hope this Irish Stew recipe has given you a true taste of traditional Irish cuisine. Whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out, this recipe is simple enough to follow and offers endless possibilities for personalization to your taste. With its hearty and comforting flavor, it’s no wonder that Irish Stew has become a beloved dish not only in Ireland, but around the world.

Whether you use beef or lamb, root vegetables or tomatoes, or even convert it into a vegetarian version, the basic foundation of the stew remains the same. And when paired with a pint of Guinness, it’s the perfect meal for any occasion.

So why not give it a try? I can guarantee that this recipe will bring warmth to your heart and soul like nothing else. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll even have the chance to experience the authentic flavors of Northern Ireland. But until then, this simple yet ancient recipe is sure to transport you there without ever having to leave your kitchen.

Irish Stew

Irish Stew Recipe

This is not a tomato based stew. It has a bottle of beer in it! It's good. I got this from a low sodium e-mail, Low Sodium Cooking. I adjusted it just a bit.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword Meat, St. Patrick's Day, Stew, Stove Top, Winter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Calories 586.1kcal


  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, Fresh Ground
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced
  • 12 ounces dark beer
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons no-added-salt tomato paste
  • 2 cups carrots, Sliced
  • 4 potatoes, cut into quarters
  • 2 turnips, cut into quarters
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the beef stew cubes and brown on all sides.
  • Add the flour to the beef stew cubes and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the meat to the crockpot along with all the other ingredients, EXCEPT the cornstarch and water.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • Finally, combine the cornstarch and water.
  • in a bowl and stir into the stew. Turn to high, cover the slow cooker and allow the stew to cook an additional 30 minutes, until thickened slightly.


Serving: 396g | Calories: 586.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.9g | Protein: 34.1g | Fat: 32.8g | Saturated Fat: 12.1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 128.5mg | Fiber: 4.4g | Sugar: 4.5g

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