Easy Irish Lamb Stew

Irish lamb stew
"Norton, Jim" / Getty Images
  • Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
857 Calories
53g Fat
30g Carbs
60g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: Serves 6
Amount per serving
Calories 857
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 20g 102%
Cholesterol 212mg 71%
Sodium 630mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 60g
Calcium 157mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Irish lamb stew recipe has a hearty flavor and is easy to prepare. It's said that a good Irish stew is like a medicine that will cure whatever ails you. Just the smell of this lamb stew cooking in your kitchen will probably improve your mood.

The beer gives the dish a deep, robust taste; for a true Irish flavor, use full-bodied Guinness or another stout. If you prefer not to use beer at all, you can substitute with vegetable or beef broth. It will give a slightly different consistency but should be (almost) as tasty.

If you can't get lamb meat, it's perfectly fine to substitute boneless beef chuck or round stew meat instead. You'll get equally delicious results. To keep this dish on the healthy side, be sure to trim any fat or gristle from the meat before dredging and cooking it. 

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  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless, lean lamb stew meat, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can (16 ounces) whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups dark beer, such asstout
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional)
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, halved and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled, halved and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large bowl or on a sheet of wax paper, season the flour with the salt and pepper. Dredge the lamb in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches, and adding more oil to the pot between batches if necessary, brown the lamb on all sides, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a bowl.

  2. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pot and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the onions to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Return the lamb to the pot.

  3. Add the tomatoes, beer, remaining 1/2 cup of water, garlic, thyme, caraway seeds, salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, stirring to break up the tomatoes and dissolve the paste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is almost tender.

  4. Stir in the carrots and parsnips. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until the meat, potatoes and vegetables are tender. Serve the stew garnished with thyme sprigs, if desired.

Lamb Stew Recipe Tip:

The stew can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator (or place the container under cold running water to release stew) before reheating.