Irish lamb stew recipe served in a white bowl on a side plate with a slice of buttered potato bread

Traditional 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 devours this then asks for seconds.

Sometimes, even thirds.

If you’re not a fan of lamb, it’s also good with beef. Or use a combination. Whichever protein you choose, remember that the bacon will add fat so you might want to opt for a lean cut.

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. I have nothing against the stuff, but pouring beer into your stew isn’t very authentic.

Traditionally, stew is peasant food, and hardworking farmers couldn’t afford to dump their evening pint into the family stew. But if you absolutely cannot handle the thought of Irish Lamb Stew without beer, have one on the side.

Irish Lamb Stew Ingredients - plus bacon and frozen peas

You Can Make it Ahead

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.

traditional Irish Lamb Stew Recipe

Irish Lamb Stew

Traditional Irish Lamb Stew

This hearty stew features lamb and root vegetables in a broth made smoky and rich by adding rashers of bacon. Stovetop and slow cooker instructions.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 367kcal
Author: Katie Berry
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: comfort food, lamb, st. patricks, stew


  • 1 Stockpot
  • 1 Slow cooker - optional


  • 6 slices bacon bacon ends if you can find them
  • 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 peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Russet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Stovetop Instructions

  • 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 remaining seasoned flour.
  • Add minced garlic and the remaining seasoned flour to the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. 
  • Slowly add beef stock, stirring continuously to prevent lumps.
  • Bring to boil, add bay leaves, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
  • Add carrots and potatoes and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the peas, thyme, and the bacon crumbles. Cook on low for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and adjust seasonings as desired.

Lamb Stew in Your Slow Cooker

  • Follow the recipe above through step 5. Transfer everything to your slow cooker, stir in the carrots and potatoes, and cook on low or 6 hours.
  • Stir in the frozen peas, cooked crumbled bacon, and thyme. Cover and cook another 15 minutes then serve.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 657mg | Potassium: 1158mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 5285IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you try this?Let me know how it was!

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 then follow with this Irish Tea Cake Recipe for dessert!

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  1. Dick McCurdy says:

    5 stars
    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.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! There’s nothing quite like a bowl of stew at the end of a long day.

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