Traditional Irish Stew

Traditional Irish Stew in a casserole and a small bowl

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 20 mins
Total: 2 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
966 Calories
33g Fat
125g Carbs
52g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 966
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33g 43%
Saturated Fat 11g 56%
Cholesterol 106mg 35%
Sodium 1034mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 125g 45%
Dietary Fiber 32g 114%
Protein 52g
Calcium 519mg 40%
*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.)

What could be more heartening and filling than a delicious bowl of Irish stew, a popular dish from Ireland and loved the world over. Though a hugely popular dish on St Patrick's Day, this dish is far too good to reserve for a few days a year; eat it when you want a comforting and warming dish. 

Irish stew was traditionally made with mutton (sheep), but it is now often made with the easier-to-find lamb. Either meat will make a delicious, hearty stew. Controversy reigns over whether adding vegetables other than potatoes makes the perfect Irish stew. Adding onions, leeks, carrots, and cabbage does add extra flavor and nutrition to the stew, but the choice is yours.

The beauty of this Irish stew recipe is that little else is needed to make it a meal because it contains vegetables. Serve with crusty bread to soak up all of the delicious sauce.


Click Play to See This Traditional Irish Stew Recipe Come Together


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound mutton or lamb cutlets, bones removed, cut into 2-inch/5-centimeter chunks
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup leeks, cleaned and finely sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 1/2 pints dark beef stock
  • Optional: 2 or 3 cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Heat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ Gas Mark 4.

    Ingredients for a Traditional Irish Stew, potatoes, mutton or lamb cutlets, carrots, beef stock, oil, flour, cabbage, carrots, leeks, onions, salt and pepper

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a large frying pan, heat half the oil until hot but not smoking. Add half the lamb pieces and brown all over by turning in the hot oil. 

    cooking lamb pieces in a frying pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Remove the lamb with tongs and place them in a casserole.

    Lamb pieces in a casserole

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Cover with half of the potatoes, onion, leeks, and carrots.

    Carrots, onions, leeks and potatoes on top of the lamb in a casserole

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan and heat. Add the remaining lamb and brown all over as before and add to the casserole.

    Lamb, potatoes, carrots, leeks and onions in a casserole

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Cover with the remaining potatoes, onion, leeks, and carrots.

    Potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions and lamb in a casserole

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Add the flour to the still-hot frying pan and stir really well to soak up any fat and juices. Cook on a gentle heat for 3 minutes.

    Flour and lamb fat in a frying pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Add the stock a ladle at a time and mix until you have a thick, lump-free sauce.

    sauce and flour mixture in pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Pour this sauce over the lamb and vegetables.

    Sauce on top of the Irish Stew ingredients in a casserole, potatoes, carrots, leeks, onions, lamb

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Add the remaining stock to the casserole, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

    cooking Traditional Irish Stew in a casserole

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Add the cabbage (if using), replace the lid, and cook for another hour. Check from time to time to make sure the stock hasn't reduced too much. If it has, add a little boiling water. The meat and vegetables should always be covered by liquid. If the sauce is too runny at the end, you can always cook a little longer with the lid removed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve piping hot and enjoy.

    Traditional Irish Stew in a casserole and a small bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • Like all stews and casseroles, this stew tastes just as good if not better the next day. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Recipe Tags: