Classic Irish Stew Recipe: Comfort Food at Its Finest

Hark! I bring to thee a recipe that shall warm thy heart and soul. Tis the vintage Irish stew with dumplings, a dish inspired by my travels across the Celtic lands. Aye, the Irish do have a flair for creating hearty and wholesome dishes that stick to your ribs, and this recipe is no exception.

Made with the freshest ingredients like potatoes, carrots, celery, turnip, onions and lamb simmered in water, this Irish stew stands out from its British cousin with its unique blend of flavors. But what sets this stew apart are the herb dumplings floating atop like fairy boats on the swelling seas.

But don’t fret! This recipe is not just for those who love meat. There are vegan variations to try as well. Whether you’re nursing a winter cold or craving some comfort food on a rainy day, this Irish stew with dumplings will hit the spot.

So grab your apron and let’s start cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Irish Stew With Dumplings
Irish Stew With Dumplings

Oh, gentle readers, hear me now! If you are fond of hearty and scrumptious meals, then look no further than this Irish Stew with Dumplings recipe. Believe me when I say that this dish will satisfy even the hungriest of stomachs and soothe even the weariest of souls.

What makes this recipe so special, you may ask? Well, my friends, it’s because it combines the most flavorful ingredients that will leave your senses spellbound. The melt-in-your-mouth lamb combined with the savory broth made from potatoes, carrots, celery and turnips creates a delightful and filling stew that is simply divine. But wait! There’s more! Add to this superb Irish stew some delicious dumplings- whether herb or cheddar dumplings- and you’ll have yourself a dish fit for royalty.

Trust me, when you taste the tender lamb, the rich Guinness-based broth, and the fluffy dumplings seasoned with herbs or cheddar cheese, you will definitively want seconds – nay thirds! I implore thee – give this recipe a try and be ready to fall in love with Irish cuisine like never before!

Ingredient List

 A cozy warm bowl of Irish comfort food
A cozy warm bowl of Irish comfort food

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this hearty Irish stew with dumplings:

  • 1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 pound lean lamb, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon drippings
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour, for dredging
  • 3 cups water or beef broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 6 pearl onions (optional)
  • A handful of parsley sprigs for garnish (optional)

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
  • A handful of chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme or rosemary) or grated cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup milk

The Recipe How-To

 Soft and pillowy dumplings ready to be dunked
Soft and pillowy dumplings ready to be dunked

Let us now proceed to the most exciting part of this recipe article — the recipe how-to! In this section, I will walk you through the steps to making a delicious Irish Stew with Dumplings, perfect for a cozy and hearty meal.


For the stew:
– 2 tablespoons bacon drippings
– 2 pounds lean lamb, cut into bite-size pieces
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 4 cups water
– 4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
– 4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
– 3 stalks celery, diced
– 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 3 cups of Guinness Irish stout

For the dumplings:
– 1 cups all-purpose flour
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoons salt
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley sprig
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 2/3 cup milk


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon drippings and let it melt.
  2. Dredge lamb in flour mixed with salt and pepper.
  3. Brown lamb on all sides in bacon drippings until golden brown, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.
  4. When done browning, return all the lamb to the pot with onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, turnip, and Guinness Irish stout. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits left on the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add enough water to cover everything in the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until lamb is tender.
  7. While the stew simmers, make the dumplings. Mix flour, baking powder, salt and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Using your fingers, rub in butter until mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  8. Pour in milk and start mixing with a fork.
  9. Form into small balls – about the size of a tablespoon will do – and place them over the top of the stew.
  10. Arrange the loosely packed dumplings over the top of the stew.
  11. Cover the pot and let it simmer for another 30 minutes until dumplings are cooked through.
  12. Serve hot and enjoy!

See how easy that was? Now you can make your own Irish Stew with Dumplings at home!

Substitutions and Variations

 Layers of meat and vegetables in every spoonful
Layers of meat and vegetables in every spoonful

Verily, though this recipe for Irish Stew with Dumplings is a thing of wonder and delight, should you desire to put your own unique spin on things, there are a variety of substitutions and variations to consider. Allow me to enlighten thee:

– Meat: The traditional meat of choice for Irish Stew is lamb, but beef is also commonly used. If ye prefer a lean cut, consider using beef chuck. For those abstaining from meat, substituting with root vegetables will produce a similar texture and heartiness.

– Vegetables: The beauty of stew lies in its ability to incorporate whatever vegetables are in season or available. While potatoes, carrots, celery and turnips are the norm in this recipe, feel free to experiment with other root vegetables like parsnips or rutabagas. Pearl onions also make an excellent addition.

– Dumplings: If thou prefers a cheesy twist, try adding grated cheddar cheese to the dumpling batter. For a more herbaceous flavor, add chopped parsley or thyme. Gluten-free or vegan options can be made by substituting flour with a gluten-free alternative or using almond milk instead of regular milk.

– Broth: The key to any good stew is the broth, and while this recipe calls for water, I would suggest using chicken or beef broth for a richer flavour. Alternatively, replace half the water with Guinness beer for an authentic Irish taste.

‘Tis true that some substitutions may affect the final product, but what matters is that you create something that pleases your palate and brings comfort to thy soul. Enjoy your culinary journey!

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect dish for a chilly night
The perfect dish for a chilly night

Good day, my dear food enthusiasts! One of the joys of cooking is sharing your dish with others. The aroma and flavors of a hearty Irish stew with dumplings is nothing short of amazing. I’m sure your guests will love to indulge in it. Here are some ideas for serving and pairing that will enhance your dining experience.

The stew can be served on its own or the dumplings can be used to soak up some of the broth. I usually serve the stew alongside a crusty loaf of bread or hot buttered rolls. The soft and warm texture of the bread complements the hearty and savory flavor of the stew.

For drinks, I suggest serving an ice-cold Guinness Stout, which has a robust body and roasted malt flavor that complements the rich taste of the lamb and beef in the stew. You can also enjoy Irish whiskey neat or on the rocks as an after-dinner drink, if you want to truly embrace Irish culture.

Another pairing idea is to serve an appetizer, such as a cheese plate or spinach dip with crackers, before tucking into a bowl of the hearty stew. It offers a great contrast in taste and texture that enhances your eating experience.

I hope these suggestions inspire you to create your ultimate Irish stew experience. Don’t hold back from trying variations on this recipe, especially when it comes to pairing two satisfying courses together!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A hearty classic that never goes out of style
A hearty classic that never goes out of style

Hark! The Irish Stew with Dumplings is a feast that keeps giving! Fear not, for thou may enjoy this meal even on the morrow. Here’s how:

To make-ahead, let the stew cool completely and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. The flavors will meld together more overtime, which only makes it better.

When ready to reheat, gently warm the stew in a pot over a low heat, adding a little water if needed to loosen it back up. Make sure it’s piping hot before serving with the dumplings.

If thou art already making this dish as part of thy meal prep or because thou art looking to have leftovers (for shame!), consider not adding the dumplings until thou art ready to serve. Keep the stew in the refrigerator but let it come back to room temperature before reheating and adding the dumplings fresh.

Thou can also freeze any leftover Irish Stew with Dumplings by letting it cool completely and storing it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months. When ready to defrost, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat as above until piping hot and enjoy once more.

Thee can now enjoy this classic dish without any added fuss, on-demand whenever thou desires.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The aroma of savory herbs and spices filling the air
The aroma of savory herbs and spices filling the air

To perfect the Irish Stew with Dumplings recipe, there are some tips that will make your cooking experience fun and easy.

First, when it comes to making the stew, use lamb stew meat instead of beef chuck. Beef chuck can be tough and chewy while lamb stew meat is tender and flavorful. Also, using bacon drippings adds a smoky flavor to the stew.

Second, be sure to dredge the meat in flour before cooking. This will help thicken the stew as it simmers. Additionally, don’t forget to season the meat with salt and pepper before dredging in flour.

Third, when making the dumplings, use fresh herbs like parsley sprigs as they add a fragrant aroma and taste to the dumplings. Alternatively, cheddar dumplings or herbed dumplings 1 1/2 cups can add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.

Fourth, use pearl onions instead of regular onions for a sweeter taste that complements the flavors of the stew. Donal Skehan, an Irish chef, suggests peeling them by blanching them in boiling water for ten seconds before plunging them into ice water. This makes them easier to peel.

Fifth, if you want to make this vegan or vegetarian, replace the meat with vegan protein alternatives like seitan or tempeh. You can also skip the bacon drippings and use olive oil or vegan butter half.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently make this classic Irish dish that will surely be a hit for any occasion.

Bottom Line


In conclusion, this Irish Stew with Dumplings recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to taste the rich and savory flavors of British cuisine. With its combination of tender lamb or beef simmered with hearty vegetables and topped off with delicious dumplings, this classic dish is sure to satisfy any appetite.

Whether you’re a fan of traditional Irish cuisine or just looking for a delicious and filling meal, this recipe has everything you need to create a perfect dinner for feeding family or entertaining guests. And with plenty of ways to adapt it to your own preferences, including vegetarian options and variations on the dumpling recipe, there’s no reason not to give it a try.

So why not dust off your apron and make some memories in the kitchen? Try our Irish Stew with Dumplings recipe today and discover just how tasty British cuisine can be!

Irish Stew With Dumplings

Irish Stew With Dumplings Recipe

Hearty and heart-warming, this stew was transplanted from Ireland to New England. From that chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Irish
Keyword < 4 Hours, Free Of..., Inexpensive, Lamb/Sheep, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Savory, St. Patrick's Day, Stew, Vegetable
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Calories 397.5kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb (neck or breast)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • stock or water, to cover
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • parsley sprig

Irish stew dumplings

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bacon drippings
  • 1/3 cup milk (up to 1/2 cup)


  • For the stew: cut the meat into small pieces, season and dredge with flour.
  • Melt bacon drippings in a heavy skillet and brown the meat; add onions and cook until golden.
  • Add enough stock or water to cover meat.
  • Add turnip, carrots, celery and parsley; simmer for two hours.
  • Add cubed potatoes and cook more rapidly until potatoes are done.
  • To make the dumplings: sift dry ingredients together, cut in fat and add enough milk to give a smooth drop batter.
  • Drop by spoonfuls over the top of the stew (the stew should be kept boiling hot).
  • Cover the pot and allow dumplings to steam 15 minutes without lifting cover.


Serving: 243g | Calories: 397.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.8g | Protein: 20.6g | Fat: 19.3g | Saturated Fat: 7.8g | Cholesterol: 68.7mg | Sodium: 802.4mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 3.8g

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