Irish Lamb Stew Recipe – Stovetop or Crockpot
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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 also good with 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
Save Your Beer for Drinking
Many Irish Lamb Stew recipes call for Guinness or another dark beer. Mine doesn’t, and you won’t miss it. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good drink now and then, but pouring beer into your stew isn’t very authentic.
Traditionally, a stew is 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!
But Don’t Skip the Bacon
Although it’s not pictured, bacon is a must when making this Irish Lamb Stew. Lamb is fairly lean, so the bacon adds some much-needed fat to the recipe. Its smoky flavor also adds a nice depth that brings everything together beautifully.
Make it Ahead if You Can
Although this stew is delicious right away, it’s even better the next day when the flavors have had time to marry… or at least get to know each other a bit.
I often make it the night before then refrigerate it (either in the stockpot or by just popping the crockpot liner into the fridge) and rewarm it for dinner.
Goes Great With…
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. And don’t forget to make this Irish Tea Cake Recipe for dessert!
Irish Lamb Stew Recipe
- 6 slices bacon fatty is best
- 2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder cut into bite-sized pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 large carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Russet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 cup peas fresh or still frozen
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 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. Leave the grease in the pot. Crumble the bacon when it’s cool.
- While the 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 to prevent lumps. 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.
- Add frozen peas, thyme, and cooked bacon crumbles. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, taste the stew and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
- IF USING A CROCKPOT: After adding the stock, 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, cooked crumbled bacon, and thyme.
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It’s good without bacon, too.
I’m a batchelor beginning cook and tried this after I found a package of lamb stew bones at the market for cheap. I more or less followed your recipe making substitutions as I needed to. It is wonderful and delicious. The lamb is so tender it literally falls off the bone. Carrots and potatoes are just right, too. Thanks for sharing and I will cook this again soon.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! There’s nothing quite like a bowl of stew at the end of a long day.
I just came back from a trip around Ireland and am curious as to how you came up with this recipe. I tried stew in every county I traveled to and none of them contained bacon or onions.
This began as a variation on a stew I read about in The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors: Recipes You Should Have Gotten From Your Grandmother, which contains both bacon and onions.
It sounds delicious, regardless. I can’t wait to try it. 🙂
Thank you. Hope you enjoy it!
Yes, sorry about that — I’ve fixed it. Stir the cooked, crumbled bacon in with the peas.
If you cube them as shown yes, they’ll get a little mushy. When I do them in the crockpot I quarter the potatoes instead of cube them, and they come out just right. Hope you enjoy it!