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 as if 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
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, 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 six 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. Leave the grease in the pot.
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 plus the remaining flour and continue cooking, continually stirring, 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, stir it and let it cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. Stir in the frozen peas (also not pictured because they were in the freezer) 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.
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. 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. And don’t forget to make this Irish Tea Cake Recipe for dessert!
Irish Lamb Stew Recipe - Stovetop or Crock Pot
- 6 slices bacon not lean
- 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
- 2 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 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.