Rustic & Rich Irish Lamb Stew Filled With Lamb, Love, & Luck

Our cozy Irish stew is like a hug in a bowl, filled with tender lamb and lots of savory veggies.

Updated January 25, 2024
Irish lamb stew

Stew is comfort food — especially during the coldest months of the year. There's just something about slow-stewed meats and veggies that fills our bellies with cozy, warm goodness and makes us feel safe and loved. Share the love with your family with our comforting Irish lamb stew recipe. It's like giving everyone a big, warm hug. 

Irish Lamb Stew Recipe

Cooking stews takes an hour or two, but it gives the meat that fall-apart tender quality that makes them so delicious. Use our recipe as written below, or save yourself some time and toss everything in a slow cooker for eight hours on low so it's ready just in time for dinner. 


  • 1 small onion, peeled but not sliced, stuck with two cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 whole peppercorns
  • 6 parsley stems
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ pounds of lean, boneless, lamb shoulder or shanks, cut into one-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14.9-ounce) can Guinness draught
  •  4 cups of beef or chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly, only the white part
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley


  1. Make a sachet using a large piece of cheesecloth wrapped around the clove-studded onion, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, and parsley stems. Tie the sachet with twine. 
  2. Season the lamb liberally with salt and pepper. 
  3. In a large pot, heat the oil on medium-high until it shimmers.
  4. Add the lamb and cook, browning on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.
  5. Remove the lamb from the fat in the pan and add the chopped onion, carrot, leek, and parsnip. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, about five minutes.
  6. Add the beer and use the side of the spoon to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Simmer for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cooked meat back to the pot along with the stock and thyme and bring to a boil. 
  9. Reduce the heat to simmer. Skim off any scum that accumulates at the top.
  10. Add the sachet.
  11. Simmer, uncovered, for one hour.
  12. After one hour of simmering, add the potatoes.
  13. Simmer, until the meat is tender and the potatoes are cooked, about 45 minutes more.
  14. Remove the sachet and the onion with the cloves.
  15. Taste for salt and pepper.
  16. Stir in the chopped, fresh parsley.

Related: 10 Must-Make Winter Stews to Thaw Your Appetite

Quick Variations

This stew is great as-is, but you can also pump up the flavor and texture.

  • Add 1 cup of dried barley when you add the stock.
  • You can skip the beer if you prefer... just add two more cups of broth.
  • Not into lamb? Beef stew meat also works.
  • If you want this thicker like a traditional beef stew, add 3 tablespoons of flour to the pot before you add the beer and cook, stirring, for one minute.

A Hearty Seasonal Stew

We love this lamb stew in late fall and early winter when there's a chill in the air. It's also the perfect St. Patrick's Day dinner for those not inclined to the traditional corned beef and cabbage. But we think this Irish stew is yummy any time of year. 

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Rustic & Rich Irish Lamb Stew Filled With Lamb, Love, & Luck