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 in a pot

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!

ingredients to make Lamb Stew

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).

preparing lamb stew

How To Make Lamb Stew?

  1. Season the lamb pieces and brown in a dutch oven with the oil. Remove from the pan and soften onion per the recipe below.
  2. Add a little bit of broth and scrape up any brown bits.
  3. Add flour and butter to make a roux. Add broth and Guinness beer a bit at a time.
  4. Simmer until lamb is tender (about 90 minutes)
  5. 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

  1. To cook this in a slow cooker, brown the lamb and onions per the recipe.
  2. Skip the butter and flour roux and add all remaining ingredients to a 6QT slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high 4-5 hours or on low 8-9 hours or until lamb is tender.
  4. 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).

steps for preparing lamb stew

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!

Lamb Stew in a bowl

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

Did you enjoy this Beef & Guinness Stew? Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below!

Lamb Stew in a pot
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Lamb Stew (Irish Stew)

Irish Lamb Stew is an annual staple during the month of March, but it's so delicious you'll want to enjoy it all year long!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
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  • 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.
To Thicken the Stew:
If you'd prefer a thicker stew, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water. Add to the boiling stew a little bit at a time while stirring until it reaches desired consistency.
5 from 103 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 537 | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 645mg | Potassium: 1896mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 8160IU | Vitamin C: 32.3mg | Calcium: 105mg | Iron: 9.2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Entree, Soup
Cuisine American, Irish
cooked Lamb Stew in the pot and plated with writing
bowl of Lamb Stew with a title


cooked Lamb Stew in the pot with writing
Lamb Stew in bowls with a title


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Recipe Rating


  1. This was delicious. I made a few changes by adding a little celery, peppercorns, and a smidge of fresh rosemary. I did add a clove of garlic and chopped up one of my heirloom tomatoes. I only had an Oktoberfest beer and it worked well. I followed all the steps, except after I added all the ingredients, I brought it to a boil on the stove top, then placed the Dutch oven in the oven at 270 with top ajar so it wouldn’t boil while cooking, just a simmer so the meat would not become tough. Thanks!5 stars