How to Make Traditional Irish Lamb Stew Recipe

Traditional Irish Lamb Stew Recipe

How to make traditional Irish Lamb Stew that is simple but packed with flavour that your family will love and enjoy.

This Traditional Irish Lambs Stew recipe is a great meal that is loved all across Ireland because it is simple, uses ingredients that is in season and you always feel good after eating a piping hot bowl.

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Irish Lamb Stew Recipe

This Irish Lamb Stew recipe is pretty basic and sticks to the tradition of using meat and vegetables that are in season and packed full of goodness.  If you have a local butcher available, you visit him and ask him for the right cut of meat.

In this old fashioned lamb stew Recipe, we will be using lamb as our meat but you can substitute for beef if you wish. For decades, Lamb was traditionally used in Old Fashioned Irish Stew recipes throughout Ireland. If you don’t like lamb, you can easily substitute it for beef.

Normally, tough cuts of meat were used, which needed a long time to cook to become tender.  For this traditional Irish stew recipe, I always use lamb neck, shoulder, or leg; lamb rump is also good.  Make sure if you are getting it from your butcher, you ask them to remove the bone for you if you are not able to do it yourself, but get him to give you the bones to use for stock.

I use lamb or beef stock in this Irish Stew recipe, but you can also put the bones into the stew to get all the flavour into your meal.

Why Was Lamb Use in Irish Stew?

Lamb is traditionally used to make Irish stews for several reasons:

  1. Availability: Historically, lamb has been widely available in Ireland due to the country’s temperate climate and lush grasslands, which are ideal for raising sheep. This availability made lamb a common and affordable protein source for Irish households.
  2. Cultural Heritage: Sheep farming has been integral to Irish agriculture for centuries, and lamb has long been a staple in Irish cuisine. As a result, using lamb in stews reflects a deep-rooted culinary tradition and cultural connection to the land.
  3. Flavour and Texture: Lamb adds a rich and hearty flavour to stews, with its slightly gamey taste complementing the other ingredients in the dish. The meat becomes tender and succulent when slow-cooked, making it perfect for simmering in a stew until it melts in your mouth.
  4. Nutritional Value: Lamb is a nutritious meat, rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals such as iron and zinc. Including lamb in stews enhances the flavour and adds nutritional value to the dish, making it a wholesome and satisfying meal.

Overall, lamb use in Irish stews combines practicality, cultural tradition, flavour, and nutritional benefits, making it a beloved and enduring aspect of Irish cuisine.

How to Cook Irish Lamb Stew

When cooking Old Fashioned Irish Lamb stew, you must cook it over a couple of hours to ensure the meat becomes fork-tender and to allow all the flavours to develop.

This is a very straightforward, one-pot meal you can leave to simmer away, and you will be glad you gave it all the time it needs to cook.  I always ensure I add the potatoes at the end of the cooking so they don’t fall apart in the stew.

I use flour in this recipe to slightly thicken it by coating the meat.  You can remove the flour if you like and add extra potato at the start of cooking, which will fall apart and thicken your stew. This is also a very traditional Irish way of thickening soups and stews.

Season your lamb stew to taste and serve this with a side of Irish Soda bread or freshly baked rolls with Irish creamy butter.


traditional Irish stew recipe
5 from 2 votes
how to make traditional irish stew
Traditional Irish Lamb Stew Recipe
Prep Time
14 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 30 mins

Traditional Irish Lamb Stew Recipe packed full of flavour and very simple and easy to make. A one pot meal the family will love and enjoy.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: how to make irish lamb stew, how to make irish lamb stew recipe, how to make traditional irish lamb stew, how to make traditional irish lamb stew recipe, irish lamb stew, irish lamb stew recipe
Servings: 5 People
Calories: 690 kcal
Author: J.J. Sheridan
  • 1 Kg Diced Lamb Preferabley Lamb Neck, Shoulder or Rump
  • 1 Bouquet Garni Parsley Stalks, 2 Sprigs of Thyme, 1 Bayleaf tied
  • 3 larrge White Onions, sliced
  • 4 large Carrots, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 small Turnip/Swede Diced
  • 4 Large Potatoes, quartered Place in bowl of cold water to stop browning
  • 1 ltr Beef or Lamb stock
  • 3 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 4 tbsp Oil Rapeseed or any neutral oil
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • Finely Chopped Parsley to garnish
  1. Place diced lamb in a bowl ans season with salt and pepper generously then dust with flour and mix to coat.

  2. Heat a heavy based pot on high heat then add the oil, its important to get the oil really hot. You can add one cube of meat and if you hear a sizzle you know you have it hot enough. Brown the lamb in small batches to prevent stewing the meat. When all meat is brown set to one side. Browning the meat is very important. It adds lots of flavour and colour to the dish.

  3. Reduce the heat and add all your vegetables, except the potatoes, into the pan and swet for 5 minutes stirring regulary. Season with salt and pepper. When the onions are translucent add all your meat back into the pot and give it all a good stir to mix.

  4. Pour the stock into the pot until it covers all the meat and vegetables and drop your bouquet garni into the stock. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil.

  5. Once brought to a boil reduce to the lowest heat and allow to simmer for 2 hours skimming any fat and scum that rises to the surface.

  6. After 2 hours add in your potatoes and cook until tender.

  7. Taste your stew and adjust the seasoning as needed. Before serving add in the finely chopped parsley and serve pipping hot with some Irish Soda bread on the side.

About the author
J.J. Sheridan
My Name is JJ Sheridan, born in Cork Ireland but spent most of my childhood in County Tipperary. I've been a Chef for a large number of years and have worked in a number of award winning restaurants. I love using local ingredients whenever possible in my food so that I can showcase the best of Irish. My passion is to share with you the best restaurants across Ireland from a Chefs perspective. For many years restaurants have been at the hands of the "food critic". Most of the time these critics will visit the same old restaurants and heap praise on them. Often forgetting about the smaller restaurants who are paving the way for Irish Cuisine. My Goal is to higlight all restaurants, especially the ones the so called food experts never visit and give you a complete list of the best Irish Restaurants to visit.

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