Easy Irish Lamb Stew is hearty classic Irish comfort food with tender lamb and stew veggies braised in a rich Guinness-beef broth. Ready in about one hour.
IRISH LAMB STEW
Traditional Lamb Stew is cooked low and slow in the oven to fully break down the lamb stew meat to make it fork tender. This Irish Stew recipe is made with leg of lamb, a leaner cut that cooks a little quicker so this stew can be cooked on the stovetop. You can finish this Irish Stew in the oven, or make it in the slow cooker and Instant Pot. However you make it, this cozy, rustic stew fills your home and tummy with warmth and goodness!
Irish Stew with Lamb is a delicious and filling one-pot meal that’s a perfect make-ahead dinner during the busy holiday season. Rustic, traditional Irish Lamb Stew is even better the next day when the flavors have a chance to really meld together. If you are making a Roast Leg of Lamb for Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, or Christmas, this Irish Lamb Stew recipe is a great way to use leftovers.
This Irish Lamb and Guinness Stew is a cozy, tasty dish all on its own with just a garnish of parsley. A traditional side for Irish Stew is a loaf of Irish soda bread, but any bread or roll, like Buttermilk Biscuits or French Rolls, are great for soaking up the lamb stew gravy. They melt-in-your-mouth just like soda bread, plus you can’t beat fresh baked bread! Beer Bread made with Guinness would also taste delicious with this hearty, rustic stew.
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Tips for Making Irish Lamb Stew
- The Guinness beer adds a depth of flavor to Lamb Stew you don’t get from beef broth. The alcohol cooks out, but if you want a non-alcoholic substitute, try mushroom stock or dark soda like coke or root beer.
- Trim off any visible fat from the lamb meat to make this lamb stew heart healthy. Lamb meat, especially leg of lamb, is naturally leaner than beef, but you don’t need the fat if you prefer a stew that has a bit less fat.
- If you want to make-ahead Irish Lamb Stew, cook as usual and cool completely off the heat for at least an hour. Cover with lid and store in refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat the stew over medium heat until hot.
- To finish Irish Stew in the oven, start with a dutch oven with a lid and preheat oven to 350. Prepare the Irish Stew up until the simmering part. Add the potatoes and carrots, bring to a boil, and cover with lid. Transfer to oven and finish cooking at 350 degrees for about an hour, until lamb is tender.
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VARIATIONS ON IRISH LAMB STEW
- Lamb Meat: Make this recipe with lamb shoulder, lamb stew meat, lamb shank, or leftover leg of lamb. Lamb alternatives you can use are chuck roast, pork shoulder roast or beef stew meat. For lamb shoulder, bone-in lamb shank, chuck roast, and beef stew meat, you’ll need to add 1-2 hours of cooking time.
- Bacon: Leg of lamb is a leaner cut so you can add some fat back in with bacon. Bacon also smoky flavor too. Cook 1/2 pound of bacon, remove and set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat and use that to brown the lamb instead of vegetable oil. Add the bacon back in with the potatoes and carrots.
- Veggies: Other veggies you’ll find in Irish Stew are peas, parsnips, turnips, shallots, leeks, or cabbage. Sauté leeks, cabbage, and shallots with the onions. Add the peas or root veggies (parsnips and turnips) with the potatoes.
- Guinness: You can use red wine or white wine instead of Guinness beer, or use another dark, stout beer you like better. For non-alcoholic, you can use more beef stock, mushroom stock, or dark soda.
- Seasonings: You can add fresh herbs, dried spices, or minced garlic for more flavor. Use different spices to easily change this from Irish Stew to another cultural favorite. For Moroccan Lamb Stew add spices like cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger. Use spices like marjoram, rosemary, and savory for a French Lamb Stew.
Slow Cooker Irish Lamb Stew
- Season lamb with salt and pepper. Add oil and lamb to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook until lamb is browned on all sides, then transfer to crock pot.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery to skillet and cook until onions are translucent.
- Deglaze pan with 1 cup beef broth, scraping up any browned bits.
- Pour veggie-broth mixture into slow cooker and stir in remaining ingredients.
- Cover crock pot with lid and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until lamb is fork tender.
Instant Pot Irish Lamb Stew
- Turn pressure cooker to Sauté function and add vegetable oil.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add seasoned lamb and sear until browned on all sides.
- Remove lamb and set aside. Add onions, and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add beef broth and deglaze pressure cooker, scraping off any browned bits.
- Return lamb to the pot and add remaining ingredients, except celery, potatoes, and carrots.
- Lock the lid and seal pressure valve. Cook on Manual High Pressure 30 minutes.
- Quick release pressure and add potatoes, celery, and carrots to Instant Pot.
- Seal lid and pressure valve and cook again on Manual High Pressure for 8 more minutes.
- Naturally release pressure, remove lid and serve.
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HOW TO STORE IRISH LAMB STEW
- Serve: You can keep Irish Stew at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it should be cooled down and stored. Keep it out longer, up to 4 hours, covered in a slow cooker set on warm.
- Store: Once cooled, place Irish Lamb Stew in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop over medium-high until hot and bubbling,
- Freeze: Cool Irish Stew completely and freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Thaw your lamb stew overnight in the refrigerator before reheating over medium or medium-high heat.
Irish Lamb Stew
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 pounds leg of lamb , cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 yellow onion , cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 stalks celery , sliced
- 2 carrots , sliced
- 2 pounds russet potatoes , cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 4 cups beef broth
- 12 ounces Guinness Beer
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
Add oil to a large pot or dutch oven on high heat.
Season lamb with salt and pepper and cook until slightly browned, about 6-8 minutes.
Add in the onion, celery and carrots and stir well.
- Add broth, beer, Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil.
Reduce to low heat and cook for 30 minutes, then add in the potatoes and cook an additional 30-40 minutes until lamb is tender.