Nothing says tradition like a comforting Irish Stew recipe simmering away on the stove.
Lamb Stew is a deliciously cozy recipe with tender chunks of lamb, potatoes, and carrots in a rich Guinness infused beef broth.
We love serving this homemade lamb stew recipe alongside some crusty soda bread for dunking in the rich gravy.
Lamb Stew (Irish Stew)
If you like a good traditional Beef Stew Recipe, you’ll love this flavorful lamb stew just as much! A combination of carrots, potatoes, onions, (which really can be made with any variety of meat) is simmered in a beefy Guinness broth.
My good friends Lew & Val helped me perfect this recipe and if anyone knows good Irish food, they sure do! The Irish are famous for their rustic, crowd-pleasing cooking and they know how to keep it simple!
What kind of lamb for stew?
This Irish Lamb Stew is prepared with lamb shoulder, which is the most tender part of the lamb with a delicate flavor that is accented by a sprig of thyme! You can also use boneless leg of lamb or any well marbled cuts of lamb.
All you need is a heavy stockpot, fresh lamb shoulder pieces, and a small selection of root vegetables & herbs.
Other Ingredients in Lamb Stew
We keep it simple with carrots, onions, and potatoes. You can use russets or use whole baby potatoes which don’t need peeling. Add in your favorite root veggies like parsnips to stretch the soup even further.
Beef broth (or beef stock) is the base of this soup and it adds a great rich flavor to the gravy-like broth. Guinness is added for richness and lots of flavor. If you don’t have Guinness, you can substitute another type of beer or skip the beer and just use additional beef broth. A few bay leaves, some fresh thyme, and fresh parsley add extra flavor.
Stew is a great place for additions and variations. Try any of the following:
- A few minced garlic cloves.
- 15 oz canned petite diced tomatoes or a tablespoon or two of tomato paste.
- Turnips, parsnips or other root vegetables are great in lamb stew.
- Once cooked, stir in 2/3 cup thawed frozen green peas (they do not need to be simmered, just stir them in at the end).
How To Make Lamb Stew?
- Season the lamb pieces and brown in a dutch oven with the oil. Remove from the pan and soften onion per the recipe below.
- Add a little bit of broth and scrape up any brown bits.
- Add flour and butter to make a roux. Add broth and Guinness beer a bit at a time.
- Simmer until lamb is tender (about 90 minutes)
- Add carrots & potatoes and cook until tender. Thicken more if desired.
Be certain to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan after browning the lamb/onions.
Other Cooking Methods
- Lamb Stew can also be baked in the oven at 325°F once the liquid has been added.
- To cook in an instant pot, follow the method we use for our Instant Pot Beef Stew.
To Cook in a Crock Pot
- To cook this in a slow cooker, brown the lamb and onions per the recipe.
- Skip the butter and flour roux and add all remaining ingredients to a 6QT slow cooker.
- Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 8-9 hours or until lamb is tender.
- To thicken, combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Stir into the stew a little bit at a time to thicken (you may not need all of the mixture).
What To Serve with Lamb Stew
A hearty and heartwarming meal on its own, lamb stew needs little, if anything, alongside it. Lamb Stew is often served over Mashed Potatoes. If you’d like, season this stew with a pinch of curry powder to add a little bit of warmth.
A hearty loaf of Irish Soda Bread or a crisp, cold serving of sauerkraut or even homemade pickles are a great flavor component to this thick, hearty stew.
Serve it with a pint (or two) of a sharp Guinness Beer for a bit o’ the Irish luck when they come to the table!
Irish Stew, or Guinness Stew, is an annual staple during the month of March, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, when the Irish eyes are smiling, and everyone is ready for a hearty meal! However, this dish is so delicious, you’ll want to make it year-round!
More Cozy Chili and Stew Recipes
- Chicken Stew – favorite recipe
- The Best Chili Recipe
- Pork Stew
- Beef & Guinness Stew
- Savory Pumpkin Chili
- Hearty Turkey Stew (with leftover turkey)
Did you enjoy this Beef & Guinness Stew? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!
Lamb Stew (Irish Stew)
- 2 pounds lamb shoulder cut into 1 ½" pieces
- salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1 large onion sliced
- 4 cups beef broth divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 bottle Guiness beer
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 carrots chopped into 3" pieces
- 2 large potatoes about 1 ½ pounds
- 2 sprigs thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- Season lamb with salt and pepper. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and brown lamb in small batches. Remove from the pot and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the onions to the pot with remaining oil. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and add to the lamb in the bowl.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of broth to deglaze and scrape any brown bits off the bottom. Cook until broth has evaporated.
- Whisk in butter and flour. Cook for one minute. Turn heat to low. Add beer and then broth, a small amount at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition. The mixture will seem pasty and thick at first. Continue adding liquid a little bit at a time until smooth.
- Add the lamb and onions back to the pot with bay leaves and simmer for 90 minutes or until lamb is fork tender. Add potatoes, carrots, and thyme and simmer for 25 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in parsley and serve with Irish Soda Bread.
- When adding liquid to remove the brown bits, just add enough to scrape them up. Allow the liquid to almost completely evaporate before adding the butter.
- Once the butter and flour have cooked, add in the liquid a little bit at a time. It will be very thick and pasty at first but will thin out as you add more liquid.
- The lamb should be tender before adding the vegetables.
- Some cuts of lamb can be fatty, if needed, skim the oil or fat off of the top before thickening with additional cornstarch.
- If you'd like to add green peas, thaw and stir in just before serving. They do not need to simmer.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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I don’t see an oven temp – I’m assuming 350
Lamb Stew can also be baked in the oven at 325°F once the liquid has been added.
Great consistency. I added peas. Balance with soda bread awesome
Whisk in flour and butter with onions?
I find it easier to remove the onions from the pan before whisking the flour and butter. Sorry for the confusion.
I guess I’m late to the party on this one! 2 Questions though. When do the onions get added back in? Pictures show them removed at the roux stage but not when they go back. Also, I saw a comment saying covered when baking in the oven so I’m assuming not covered on the stove top.
I’m forging ahead and so far it smells great!
If removing the onions when scrapping up the brown bits, add them back in when you add in the lamb. And yes, I cook it uncovered on the stove top. I hope you loved it Lorna!
It turned out fabulous! I used a portobello mushroom soup in lieu of plain broth. Also added cut up mushrooms. Changed plain spuds to garnet yams. I think it added an extra sweetness. Wasn’t a thick stew but more juice to sop up!
Smells good, but is surprisingly bland. Cook time was wrong. Lamb ended up being over cooked and the potatoes and carrots weren’t even close to being done. Made this to the letter and had to cook it longer and doctor it to make it edible.
Over all a complete waste of time, effort, and money. Honestly the worst online recipe I’ve ever tried. That’s not to say it’s truly awful, it’s just hands down the worst.
Great recipe! The lamb was so tender.
Stew recipes lend themselves to fiddling. I used dried mushrooms to give the broth more depth. Leaving the carrots and potatoes in larger pieces adds a lot to the presentation. Thanks for the great recipe.
You’re welcome Rene, that sounds delicious!
This is a kick a.. recipe. I have been a chef for many years and the results are fab. This can be punched up with a little red wine if you want to get fancy but it’s perfect as is.
This looks good. Can I use red wine instead of the beer? I made a pork shoulder stew similar to this recently and used Guiness stout and my husband really disliked it.
Hi Linda, we have not tried this recipe with red wine but would love to hear how it turns out for you!
Should the lamb be boneless or bone in?
Hi Tara, most often you will find it in the grocery store with the bone in. We dice it up before adding it to the recipe though, so either should work.
Can I use Heineken beer?
Sure you can!
I don’t usually leave comments but I made this stew this evening and I would like to say it was so good. My family loved it and it is a perfect winter dish. It was also very simple to make and I will definitely make it again. Thanks so much.
Thank you so much for sharing your comment Jeffrey! I’m so glad your family loves the lamb stew!
I assume if you decide to bake in oven, you bake covered?? This is my second time making it. I’m trying to improve upon the first time. Thank you.
Yes, this should be baked covered.
In your recipe you never mention adding the lamb back in. At what point do you do that?
Apologies for the confusion. The lamb is added back in step 5 before boiling for 90 minutes.
Can your Lamb Stew recipe be made in a slow cooker? I love making soup in the slow cooker and I really love your recipes, easy ad quick.
Evelyn, I’ve only tried this recipe as written. Let us know if you do try it in a slow cooker.
I made this recipe & served it over mashed turnips, my kiddies favorite, they loved it this way. Thanks so much for the recipe ❤️
So happy they loved it Becky!
Made this along with the soda bread for St. Patrick’s day and it was a hit! One of the best lamb stews I’ve ever made. Rich gravy and the soda bread was perfect along side it.
I am so glad you enjoyed this lamb stew Diane! Happy Belated St. Patrick’s Day!
I LOVE THE RECIPES AND THEY ARE FAVORITES WITH THE FAMILY. I ENJOY RECEIVING THEM. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH. KEEP THEM COMING.
Thank you so much Joyce, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them!
Is there a substitute for the beer in the Irish Stew recipe?
You can use extra beef broth in place of the beer. Enjoy!