Easy Irish Lamb Stew

Irish lamb stew
"Norton, Jim" / Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 2 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
857 Calories
53g Fat
30g Carbs
60g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 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 is easy to prepare and has a hearty, rich flavor. 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 dark 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 it with vegetable or beef broth. It will give a slightly different consistency but should be (almost) as tasty. Serve the stew with warm Irish Soda Bread. 


  • 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 pounds boneless lean lamb stew meat (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water (divided)
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups dark beer (such as stout)
  • 8 medium garlic cloves (peeled and halved)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 pound baby potatoes (scrubbed and halved)
  • 4 medium carrots (peeled, halved, and cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 4 medium parsnips (peeled, halved, and cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • Garnish: sprigs of fresh thyme

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.

  2. 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.

  3. Add 1/4 cup of the 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.

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

  5. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes more, or until everything is tender.

  6. Serve the stew garnished with thyme sprigs, if desired. Enjoy.

Recipe Variation

If you can't find 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. 

How to Store

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