Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite recipes, Tis an Irish Lamb Stew. This hearty stew is a traditional Irish dish that has been passed down through generations. It’s perfect for a winter’s day or any time you’re in the mood for a cozy and comforting meal.
Now, some people might think that making a stew is complicated, but let me assure you – it’s not. This recipe is easy enough for even the most novice cook to whip up. All you need are some basic ingredients and a little bit of patience.
So, why not give it a try? I promise you won’t be disappointed. In fact, after just one taste of this delicious Irish lamb stew, you might even be transported to the rolling green hills of Ireland itself.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
As a chef specializing in British cuisine, I can personally attest to the fact that this Irish Lamb Stew recipe is one of the most delicious and satisfying dishes you’ll ever taste. From the tender meat to the hearty vegetables, this stew is a celebration of all that is good about Irish cooking.
But what really sets this stew apart from others is how it’s prepared. By using boneless lamb shoulder cut into 2-inch pieces, we ensure that every bite is full of tender, melt-in-your-mouth goodness. And with the addition of fresh parsley, thyme, garlic, and other flavorful ingredients, this dish is bursting with robust flavors that will delight your taste buds.
But it’s not just the taste that makes this dish so special. This Irish Lamb Stew recipe is also incredibly versatile and easy to prepare. Whether you’re cooking for a large family or just need something quick and delicious for dinner tonight, this stew has got you covered.
So what are you waiting for? Whether you’re a fan of traditional Irish cuisine or just love a good hearty stew, this recipe is sure to impress. Try it out today and discover why this dish has been a beloved classic for generations.
Here’s what you need to have prepared in order to make the delicious Irish Lamb Stew Recipe:
Meat and Vegetables
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder cut into 2-inch pieces.
- 1 sweet onion diced.
- 3 garlic cloves minced.
- ½ head of cabbage cut into small strips.
- 2 parsnips peeled and diced into small cubes.
- 1 pound baby potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
- 1 cup green peas fresh or frozen.
- Freshly chopped parsley and thyme for garnishing.
Flour and Seasoning
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating meat pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups water or beef broth
- 1 can of Guinness beer (330ml) or any dark beer of your choice.
Note: You can replace the lamb shoulder with boneless leg of lamb, lamb chops or beef stew meat. The Guinness beer is a traditional Irish ingredient that adds a unique flavor to the dish. If you don’t drink alcohol, you can replace it with beef broth, red wine or simply water.
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have all our ingredients prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start cooking. Follow these simple steps to create a delicious and hearty Irish Lamb Stew.
Step 1: Season the Meat
First, we will season our lamb shoulder with salt and pepper. This will help the meat develop a rich flavor as it cooks.
Step 2: Flour the Meat
Next, we need to flour the meat. In a bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Then, coat each piece of lamb shoulder in the flour mixture until they are fully covered.
Step 3: Brown the Meat
In a large Dutch oven or slow cooker set over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, sear the lamb shoulder on all sides until they are evenly browned. This step is important because it helps develop complex flavors in the meat and gives it a nice texture.
Step 4: Add the Vegetables
Once the lamb is browned, remove it from the pot and set it aside on a plate. Now add in your chopped vegetables: sweet onion, garlic cloves, parsnips, baby potatoes, and cabbage. Sauté them for about 5-7 minutes until they start to soften and release their aromas.
Step 5: Add Liquids
Now it’s time to add our liquids. Pour in Guinness, red wine or just water if preferred for stew irish stew. Stir everything together well.
Step 6: Cook It Down
Return the lamb shoulder to the pot with all juices that were extracted while resting in plate.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid so you can let it simmer down. Cook for 2-3 hours until the lamb is very tender and pulls apart easily.
Step 7: Add Peas and Parsley
When you are almost ready to serve the stew, add in green peas and fresh parsley. These ingredients will help to brighten up the dish and give it an extra burst of flavor.
Step 8: Serve Warm
Once everything is cooked, you can now dish out your delicious Irish Lamb Stew into bowls, garnish with more fresh herbs if desired, and serve warm. Enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
Are you interested in making some tweaks to your Irish Lamb Stew Recipe? Don’t worry; there are many variations and substitutions you can try without compromising the delicious taste.
Firstly, if lamb shoulder cut is challenging to find, consider using lamb chops or even boneless leg of lamb as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the stew’s texture may differ slightly with these changes, so adjust cooking time accordingly.
If you want to experiment with the flavor, try adding other root vegetables like turnips or rutabagas for a unique taste. You could also introduce pearl barley or potatoes for substantial heft in the stew. Some people enjoy a bit of sweetness in their Irish Lamb Stew and prefer pumpkin or sweet potato chunks added into the mix for that extra layer of flavor.
Moreover, for those who want to try some alcohol in their stew, Guinness stew is always an excellent option. Swap out some water with Guinness stout and see how it infuses an earthy bitterness to the recipe’s palette.
Another perfect substitution is red wine; however, use it sparingly as it’s quite potent and may overpower the dish if used excessively.
Of course, vegetarians can still enjoy this stew by omitting the lamb and using button mushrooms instead. The result is a rich tasting mushroom stew that’s almost as good as the traditional Irish recipe.
Lastly, all types of cooking pots work well with this dish – from slow cookers to Dutch ovens, pressure cookers to stovetop pans. The options are endless!
Don’t shy away from improvisation when cooking. Implementing substitutions has helped many individuals discover their favorite flavor combinations, and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t do the same for you.
Serving and Pairing
The lamb stew is a hearty and comforting dish that will leave you feeling satisfied and warm on the inside. It’s perfect for serving during cooler months or whenever you’re in the mood for some traditional Irish fare.
When it comes to serving, you have a few options. The stew can be served as-is in bowls or alternatively, it can be placed on top of a bed of mashed potatoes for an extra filling meal. You could also serve it with crusty bread or soda bread.
As for pairing, this stew goes really well with a full-bodied red wine like a cabernet sauvignon or merlot. The earthy undertones of the wine pair seamlessly with the richness of the lamb and vegetables, elevating the flavors to new heights. Alternatively, if you prefer something non-alcoholic, a tall glass of Irish breakfast tea would complement this dish nicely.
Regardless of how you choose to serve and pair this Irish lamb stew recipe, it’s sure to warm your heart and soul with each and every bite.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
One of the great things about this Irish Lamb Stew recipe is that it makes a large amount, perfect for leftovers or meal prep. While it’s best enjoyed fresh, sometimes we can’t resist making a big batch so we can have some the next day too!
If you need to make this ahead of time, you’re in luck – this stew reheats beautifully. Simply let it cool down and then store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to reheat it, simply transfer the stew to a pot and heat it up over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until warmed through. If the stew seems too thick, you can stir in some water or broth.
Storing this lamb stew in the freezer is also an option if you have extra left overs. To freeze, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer to an air-tight container or freezer bag. It will keep well for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on medium low heat over the stove.
When reheating lamb stew do not use a microwave oven or Higher temperatures as lamb may end up being rubbery and not tender.
Overall, this hearty Irish Lamb Stew recipe is perfect for meal prep and for keeping leftovers on hand – just be sure to store and reheat properly so that each serving is just as delicious as the first.
Tips for Perfect Results
Every cuisine has its secrets and tips to make their dishes stand out. The same goes for the Irish lamb stew recipe. Here are some tips to help you perfect this dish.
Firstly, it is important to cut the lamb shoulder into 2-inch pieces. This will ensure that the meat cooks evenly and becomes tender without falling apart. You can ask your butcher to cut the lamb for you, or you can do it at home with a sharp knife.
Secondly, seasoning is crucial. Don’t be afraid to be generous with salt and pepper when seasoning the meat before searing it in a pan. This will add layers of flavor to the stew.
Thirdly, dredge the meat in flour before searing it. This will create a nice brown crust and help thicken the stew later on.
Fourthly, for a richer flavor, use boneless lamb shoulder instead of lamb chops. Shoulder cut is perfect for stews because it has a lot of connective tissues that break down during slow cooking, making it tender and succulent.
Fifthly, if you’re using a slow cooker, keep the lid closed throughout cooking. Opening the lid will release heat and extend the cooking time, which can make your stew less flavorful.
Sixthly, adding vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, potatoes, cabbage, green peas or onion towards the end of cooking will preserve their shape and texture while still infusing flavors into the broth.
Seventhly, let your lamb stew rest for 10-15 minutes after cooking to allow the flavors to meld together. You could also refrigerate leftover stew overnight to intensify its taste.
Lastly, garnish your Irish lamb stew with freshly chopped parsley or thyme for added freshness and zing.
By following these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make a mouth-watering Irish lamb stew that’s enjoyed by everyone who takes a bite!
As with any recipe, questions may arise during the cooking process. Here are some frequently asked questions about this Irish Lamb Stew Recipe that may help guide you along the way.
Which ingredients do you need for an Irish stew?
While some may insist that a true Irish stew can only be made with mutton, onions and potatoes, the fact of the matter is that many other vegetables are commonly used and considered traditional. Carrots, celery, turnips, swedes, parsnips, leek, kale and cabbage are all acceptable additions to an authentic Irish stew.
What makes Irish stew different from regular stew?
When it comes to hearty stews, the type of meat and broth used can make a big difference. Beef stew typically calls for diced beef, specifically stew meat or chuck roast. Meanwhile, Irish stew leans towards mutton or lamb as the protein of choice, and incorporates a luscious, thick broth crafted from beer.
What cut of lamb is best for stew?
For a perfect stew, it’s important to opt for meats that have some fat marbling and come from harder working muscles like the shoulder, leg or neck fillet. These cuts break down slowly during cooking to give you that tender meat you crave. It’s best to stick to boneless, economical cuts and reserve those fancy pieces like saddle, rack and lamb chops for roasting.
Which herbs is best with lamb stew?
Lamb pairs well with a variety of herbs, but four of the most popular choices are rosemary, mint, oregano, and thyme. Each herb brings its unique flavor profile to the dish, enhancing the taste of the lamb in its own unique way. In this recipe, we will be highlighting the earthy and savory flavors of rosemary by using it as the main herb for a wonderful lamb roast.
What gave the Irish stew its fresh flavor passage?
This hearty British dish incorporates a medley of root vegetables, and occasionally includes Pearl Barley, all slow-cooked in water for maximum flavor.
What is Irish stew called in Ireland?
The classic Irish dish, known as “ballymaloe” or “stobhach gaelach” in Gaelic, typically consists of hearty lamb or mutton chunks, along with potatoes, onions, and a touch of parsley.
In conclusion, this Irish Lamb Stew recipe is an easy and delicious way to prepare a traditional Irish dish that can satisfy your taste buds and leave you feeling warm inside. This hearty lamb stew has everything you could want in a comforting meal, with tender pieces of lamb, soft potatoes, sweet onions, and flavorful vegetables. I hope that this recipe has helped you learn some new cooking skills and inspired you to create unforgettable meals for you and your loved ones.
Remember to always use fresh ingredients when possible and don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices or vegetables to make the recipe your own. You can also try different cooking methods like a slow cooker or pressure cooker to get the perfect result. Whatever method you choose, always make sure to season your food properly and taste along the way.
I invite you to dream of cozy cottage kitchens filled with aromas reminiscent of mum’s home cooking while digging into your steaming hot serving of Irish Lamb Stew. Gather your family around the table, enjoy good food, drinks and laughter while sharing stories with each other. With this stew, every meal becomes an opportunity to create unforgettable memories.
So what are you waiting for? Go to your kitchen and create an authentic Irish Lamb Stew that will impress everyone around the table. Don’t forget to garnish it with freshly chopped parsley before serving! I hope this recipe brings joy and warmth into your home!
' Tis an Irish Lamb Stew Recipe
- 1 3/4 lbs organic boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces (I had the butcher cut up the lamb for me)
- 1/2 cup flour, approximately
- 1 lb thin-skinned baby potatoes, divided
- 6 ounces baby carrots
- 2 -3 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 -3 cups fresh lamb broth (or 2-3 cups unsalted chicken or beef broth)
- 1/2 cup green peas (if using frozen, thaw first)
- 2 cups cabbage, coarsely chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme, stems removed, minced
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley, stems removed, minced
- 2 ounces whiskey
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a large bowl gently toss the lamb chunks with the flour to coat.
- In a large Dutch oven with a tight fitting lid, arrange first the lamb, followed by half potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onion and garlic in layers. Finish the top layer with the remaining potatoes. Season each layer with salt and pepper.
- Add broth (and whiskey if using), cover pot. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender and sauce thickened. DO NOT allow stew to dry out, adding stock as necessary!
- The last 15 minutes of cooking, add the green peas and cabbage. Watch carefully, being sure that cabbage doesn't cook too long and become slimy.
- Just before serving, garnish top of stew with the thyme and parsley.
- FYI: For a thicker sauce, in a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of arrowroot or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of stock or water. Whisk, breaking up any lumps and stir into the casserole, incorporating well.
Recommended Recipes Just For You
Brian is a British chef cum food blogger who has been in the kitchen since he was a young lad. Growing up in Manchester, he developed a passion for cooking and a keen eye for the perfect dish. He now runs his own blog and YouTube channel, which is dedicated to sharing his passion for food with the world.