Traditional Irish Stew Recipe

Janette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger Updated

Traditional Irish Stew is simple and incredibly flavorful. A meal of complete comfort.

The Irish do love their lamb and it is the main ingredient in this Irish stew (not beef). Yes, lamb, and the Irish are very particular about the other ingredients too.

Most think that a traditional Irish stew contains Guinness; it does not and the purists will argue with you on this.

Traditional Irish Stew Photo

When you think about it, this Irish stew first came about in the early 1800s and most people could not afford Guinness so that would be the reason that it is not in the stew.

In typical fashion of those times, recipes are made from the most available and cheapest ingredients possible and I’m sure Guinness was not readily affordable to the poor.

Over the years many delicious adaptations have been derived from the original. I’m all for a good Guinness and there’s nothing wrong with cracking open a nice cold one to enjoy along with the stew, but not in the traditional recipe.

I do like to add Guinness to shepherd’s pie that I recently made. It helps develop a delicious depth of flavor with the ground beef.

Traditional Irish Stew Picture

St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and it is one of the most fun and celebrated holidays, and the U.S gets immersed in everything green and Irish. What’s not to love about a holiday with Irish food and beer?

The answer is nothing, ofcourse. Now with your Irish party food planned with this Irish stew, you can concentrate on the beer! Put the stew in the cooker, and head to the liquor store!

Traditional Irish Stew Image

For the optimum flavor, the stew must cook low and slow. A good 2 hours is best to develop the deep rich flavors and of course, it’s always better the next day.

Serve with a side of good bread for mopping up the gravy and you have complete meal the Irish would approve of.

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Traditional Irish Stew Recipe

    6 Servings


  • 2 1/2 pounds Lamb Shoulder, cut into large chunks
  • 1 1/2 pounds Carrot, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 pounds Potato, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Onion, diced
  • 2 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 4 sprigs Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 5 cups Beef Stock
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper


  1. Add oil to a large heavy pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the lamb on all sides, remove and set aside.
  3. Add the carrots, potatoes and onions to the pan and cook slightly, coating with the fat and juices from the lamb.
  4. Add the lamb back to the pan along with the thyme and parsley.
  5. Add the beef stock, salt and pepper. Partially cover with a lid and cook on a low simmer for 2 hours.
  6. After 2 hours remove the what’s left of the thyme and parsley sprigs and the bay leaf. Serve warm.


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Related Recipes:
Irish Recipes, Stew Recipes, Lamb Recipes, Comfort Food Recipes, Family Meals and Snack Recipes, Dinner Recipes, St. Patrick's Day Recipes
Recipe Yields:
6 servings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
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Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 135 minutes
Total Time: 150 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 162
Calories 626

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g
  Saturated Fat 7g
Sodium 1754mg
Total Carbohydrate 58g
  Dietary Fiber 10g
  Sugars 12g
Protein 32g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
Janette Fuschi

About Janette

Janette is a British ex-pat living in Southern California. On her blog, Culinary Ginger, you'll learn all about it. On Food Fanatic, you'll see her favorite British classics, and ours too!