Slow cooked Irish lamb stew

Succulent lamb cooked in a rich gravy flavored with thyme and Guinness, makes this Irish lamb stew the perfect comfort food served with mashed potatoes.

Irish lamb stew

If soft, succulent lamb cooked in a rich Guinness and red wine gravy with potatoes and carrots seems like your kind of thing, you’ve come to the right place. And may I just say, you have excellent taste. Because this Irish lamb stew is the kind of recipe dreams are made of. The sauce is full of flavor thanks to the dark beer, red wine and herbs and there is nothing more comforting than a big pot of stew served with creamy mashed potatoes.

Use deboned lamb (shoulder or leg of lamb work best) and to cut down on cooking time, make sure the chunks aren’t too big. Of course you can make this lamb stew in a pressure- or slow cooker which makes it a totally hands-off dish. Just be sure to sear the meat well before adding the cooking liquid as this is where so much of the flavor develops.

Ingredients Needed

  • Olive oil. Bacon fat is a fantastic option to use instead as it adds loads of flavor.
  • Lamb. I used boneless leg of lamb cubes but boneless lamb shoulder or stewing lamb works too. Bone-in lamb cubes is also an option but will require longer cooking.
  • Aromatics: Onion, carrot, celery, fresh garlic cloves, dried thyme. Other dried herbs like bay leaves, rosemary and sage will also be delicious in this stew. Fresh herbs like fresh parsley or thyme can also be added.
  • Red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvignon but any dry red wine will work.
  • Flour.
  • Guinness. Any stout beer will work well but Guinness is definitely the preferred favorite.
  • Beef broth/beef stock. Lamb stock can also be used.
  • Potatoes. Other root vegetables like parsnips and turnips will also be delicious.
  • Salt and black pepper.

Irish lamb stew

How to make Irish lamb stew

  1. Start by building flavor: Pat the lamb dry and season with salt. Heat a large, oven-proof pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat and brown the lamb on all sides. Do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Adding too much meat to the pot will cause it to steam instead of sear. Remove the lamb and set aside. Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot and cook, scraping off the browned bits on the bottom, until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add the garlic and thyme. Rosemary would be delicious too. Pour in the wine and allow to reduce by half then add the lamb back into the pot along with the Guinness. Cover the meat with beef/lamb stock and then cover with a lid.
  2. Slow cook: Once the sauce is simmering, reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for an hour to an hour and a half until the lamb is starting to soften. This time depends on the size of the lamb cubes. Peel potatoes then slice into chunks and add to the stew. Cover again and cook for another 30-45 minutes until the potatoes and lamb are all soft and cooked through.
  3. Season and serve: Taste and adjust by seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

What to serve with Irish lamb stew

This stew just begs for a creamy bed of cheesy mashed potatoes or Irish soda bread to soak up all that gravy. Vegetable side dishes like sautéed broccolini, bacon-sautéed green beans or Brussels sprouts will also be delicious.

Other side dishes

Irish lamb stew

Love stew? Try these stew recipes:

  1. Slow braised beef short ribs with cheesy mash
  2. Instant Pot Guinness beef stew
  3. Beef shin stew with Parmesan dumplings
  4. Lamb ragu with cauliflower gnocchi
Irish lamb stew

Irish lamb stew

Succulent lamb cooked in a rich gravy flavored with thyme and Guinness, makes this Irish lamb stew the perfect comfort food served with mashed potatoes.
4.47 from 26 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Stew
Cuisine: Dinner
Keyword: Irish lamb stew, Irish stew, Lamb stew
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Calories: 321kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 8


  • kg (3 pounds) stewing lamb (shoulder/leg, de-boned and cubed)
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 pieces fresh celery finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp flour (optional)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 500 ml (2 cups) Guinness
  • 1-2 cups beef/lamb stock (to top up the liquid of the stew if necessary)
  • 500 g (1lbs) potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pot and brown the lamb in batches. Remove and set aside. 
  • In the same pot, sauté the onions, carrots and celery until they start to color slightly. Season with salt and pepper.  Add the garlic and thyme and cook for another minute then add the flour. 
  • Stir to coat the vegetables in the flour then add the wine and some stock, if necessary. Allow to simmer until the wine reduces. 
  • Add the lamb and Guinness to the pot and stir to combine with the vegetables. If necessary, top up with stock to ensure the meat is covered in liquid. 
  • Lower the heat and gently simmer with the lid ajar for an hour to 90 minutes or until the lamb starts to soften. If necessary, add more stock during cooking. 
  • Add the chopped potatoes when the lamb starts to soften and cook for another 30-45 minutes over low heat until the sauce has thickened and the potatoes and lamb are cooked through. 
  • Adjust the seasoning and serve. 


Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 145mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5110IU | Vitamin C: 4.5mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 4.1mg

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  1. This is in my top 10. I made it with garlic parmesan mash and a glass of red wine. So filling, and tasted even better the next day.

  2. We have friends coming over so I decided to make this stew. Just had a sneak taste and WOW! Such a simple, delicious recipe. I made your cheesy bread too so can’t wait for dinner.