This Irish Lamb Stew recipe is quite simply the best stew I’ve ever eaten. My picky son usually flings vegetables out of soups or stews with his spoon like they’ve personally insulted him, but he eagerly devours this then asks for seconds. Sometimes, even thirds.
If you’re not a fan of lamb, it’s equally good using beef. Or go crazy and use a combination. Whichever meat you choose, just be sure it’s a lean one because there’s enough fat from the bacon, so you don’t want a whole lot more.
Irish Lamb Stew Recipe
Although it’s not pictured, bacon is a must when making this Irish Lamb Stew. One thing that’s not a must: alcohol. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good drink now and then but it’s not a necessary ingredient in this recipe.
Traditionally, stew is a peasant food and hardworking farmers couldn’t afford to dump their evening pint into the family stew. Doing so is alcohol abuse if you ask me, so stick with the recipe and sip your brew on the side — you won’t be disappointed!
Although it’s not pictured, bacon is a must when making this Irish Lamb Stew. To start, just fry 6 slices of a fatty bacon in the bottom of a stock pot until crispy, remove the bacon and set it aside to cool. Crumble the bacon when it’s cool.
Toss the cubed lamb shoulder in the seasoned flour and scoop it out using a slotted spoon. Brown this, along with the onions, in the bacon fat until the onions begin to turn translucent. Stir in the garlic and the remaining flour then continue cooking, stirring constantly, for one more minute.
Now, add the beef stock and stir. If you’re going to cook this in the crockpot, now is the time to transfer it to the slow cooker — just add the remaining ingredients, including the crumbled bacon, give it a stir and let it cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Stir in the frozen peas 15 minutes before serving.
To continue on the stovetop, bring the ingredients to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 45 minutes, then add the remaining ingredients (except for frozen peas) and continue simmering, covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add the fresh herbs and frozen peas in during the final 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and adjust seasonings to taste before serving.
Here’s the printable recipe.
Serves: Serves 6
- 6 slices fatty bacon
- 2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder, cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 5 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fry bacon slices in the bottom of a stockpot until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Crumble bacon when it's cool.
- While bacon cooks, combine the salt, pepper, and flour in a bowl.
- Toss the lamb cubes with the seasoned flour then remove them from the flour using a slotted spoon. Brown the lamb, along with the onions, in the bacon grease. Do not discard the flour.
- Add minced garlic and leftover flour to pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Slowly add beef stock, stirring continuously. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low. Add bay leaves and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
- Add carrots and potatoes and continue simmering, covered, for 1 hour. Stir occasionally, adding additional water if needed.
- Add frozen peas, thyme, and rosemary. Cook on low for 5 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves, taste the stew and add sugar, salt, and pepper as desired.
- IF USING A CROCKPOT: Stir in the stock as directed in Step 5 then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Add the carrots and potatoes, stir well, then cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Fifteen minutes prior to serving, stir in the frozen peas and fresh herbs then adjust seasonings.
Although this stew is delicious right away, it’s even better the next day when the flavors have had time to marry. I often make it the night before then refrigerate it (either in the stock pot or by just popping the crockpot liner into the fridge) and rewarm it for dinner.
This Irish Lamb Stew is a delicious, hearty alternative to Corned Beef and Cabbage for your St. Patrick’s Day feast. I pair it with a loaf of freshly-baked Potato Bread to soak up the stewy goodness. (Recipe coming soon.) And don’t forget to make this Irish Tea Cake Recipe for dessert!