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5 from 4 votes

Irish Stew

Prepare this traditional rich, thick Irish Stew recipe on the stovetop or in the slow cooker for a hearty and delicious comfort food dinner!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Irish
Keyword guinness irish stew, irish beef stew, irish stew, irish stew recipe, st. patrick's day food
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 12 cups (approximate)
Calories 244kcal
Author Blair Lonergan


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lbs. lamb stew meat or beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup Guinness stout or dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 ½ cups beef broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ lbs. new potatoes, quartered (or use russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ¾-inch cubes)
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish


  • In a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, sauté bacon in butter over medium heat until crisp and browned (about 3-5 minutes). Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Pat lamb (or beef) dry with a paper towel.
  • Place the flour in a bowl or large Ziploc bag and season with about ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Add the meat and toss to coat well. Remove coated meat from the bowl and discard any extra flour.
  • Sear meat in the butter/bacon fat until browned on all sides (about 5 minutes). Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to work in batches so that the meat can brown without overcrowding.
  • Remove the meat from the pot and add the Guinness (or wine) and vinegar. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.
  • Add bacon and meat back to the pot, along with the tomato paste, brown sugar, garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, remaining ½ teaspoon of pepper, thyme, bay leaf, paprika, and broth. Stir really well to completely combine. Bring to a boil; then reduce to a low simmer.
  • Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, about 1 ½ hours. Add the onions and carrots and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and mushrooms and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more. Add more broth at the end to thin the stew, if necessary. Discard bay leaf; stir in parsley, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve. Garnish with additional fresh parsley, if desired.


  • Use lamb or beef in this recipe. The recipe calls for lamb stew meat, which is a generic term for various cuts of lamb that are suitable for long, slow cooking. Lamb stew meat is generally diced shoulder, neck fillet, shank or breast. For a leaner cut, diced leg also works well. 
  • If using beef instead of lamb, look for pre-diced beef stewing meat as a shortcut. Alternatively, you can dice your own chuck roast or brisket at home to use in this recipe.
  • Whether you're using a Dutch oven or a slow cooker, don't skip the step of browning the meat. Dredging the meat in flour helps to thicken the stew, and it also creates a flavorful crust on the meat and insulates the meat from the high heat in the pan. This step adds so much flavor to the stew -- especially if you scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot as your stew simmers.
  • To make the stew tender, it's important to cook the meat long enough to break down the tough connective tissue and fibers. If your meat is still tough after about 90 minutes, simmer the stew a little bit longer.
  • Keep the Dutch oven covered while simmering in order to trap moisture in the stew. You should end up with the perfect ratio of thick, rich gravy by the end. If you find that the stew is too thick at the end of cooking, just add an extra splash of broth until it reaches the desired consistency.


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 606mg | Potassium: 716mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 3492IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 3mg