Irish Lamb Stew
Updated Oct 15, 2023
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Lamb stew is a warm and flavorful combination of tender lamb, potatoes, turnip, and onions. It’s incredibly easy to make with only a handful of ingredients. Just let everything simmer in a pot and you’ve got the perfect hearty Irish stew for a chilly night.
Lamb Stew (Irish Stew)
Coming from a New Zealand Irish background, lamb stew was a special recipe I grew up with. It’s a comforting recipe that blends together savory, meaty, and vegetable flavors, similar to this beef stew.
Typically, this stew is simmered in a beefy Guiness broth. And while there’s no Guinness or flour used in this recipe, there’s honestly no need for it. Fresh vegetables, tender lamb and flavorful spices work together beautifully all on their own. Whip this up for an easy weeknight meal or prep for St. Patrick’s Day!
Lamb Stew Ingredients
Here is a quick list of what you’ll need. But follow along in the recipe below on how to prep each ingredient.
- Lamb: 2 ½ pounds of lamb shoulder
- Bacon: 4 slices of bacon
- Onions: 2 onions
- Potatoes: 2 pounds new potatoes
- Carrots and Turnip: 6 small carrots and 1 turnip
- Chicken or Vegetable Broth: 4 cups of either broth
- Salt, Pepper, and Thyme: 1 teaspoon dried thyme with salt and pepper to taste
What Cut of Lamb is Best for Stew
When it comes to stews, lamb shoulder or shanks are best.
Lamb shoulder exudes lots of flavor and becomes extremely tender after slow roasting. Lamb shanks are a more inexpensive cut of meat, but the collagen in this makes it great for braising and slow cooking. By the time it’s done cooking, the meat turns into a soft melting texture that falls right off the bone.
How to Make Lamb Stew
So let’s chat about the recipe. I used organic New Zealand lamb shoulder and cubed it into two-inch chunks. The lamb will shrink a bit when it’s cooked, so it’s okay if the chunks seem big. From there, the stew comes together really easy.
- Just sauté a few slices of bacon, season the lamb with salt and pepper and brown all sides of the lamb in the bacon fat.
- Remove the lamb to a plate and sauté the onions until golden.
- Add the lamb back to your pot along with broth and dried thyme and simmer for an hour.
- While the lamb is simmering, chop up some carrots, potatoes and a turnip and then add to the stew and cook an additional 20 minutes.
And that’s it. A hearty, melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful lamb stew recipe.
How To Store Leftovers
Before you put the stew away, let it cool down to room temperature. Then store in airtight containers in the fridge for about 3-4 days. Or you can place it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
More Hearty Winter Recipes
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Roasted Balsamic Chicken
- Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs
- Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops
- BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Lamb Stew (Irish Stew)
- 2 ½ pounds lamb shoulder, cubed
- 4 slices bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 onions, cut into wedges
- 2 pounds new potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 small to medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 turnip, cubed
- 4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat and add the bacon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the lamb pieces (working in batches), browning all sides in the bacon fat. Remove the lamb to a plate.
- Add the onion to the dutch oven and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Add the lamb back to the dutch oven along with the broth and dried thyme. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour.
- After one hour add the potatoes, carrots, turnip, and bacon. Cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.
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Originally posted November 2016, but updated to include new information. This post was created in partnership with Simply Organic. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that help keep Downshiftology going! As always, all opinions are my own.