Traditional beef or lamb stew

This is a recipe for a typical Irish stew. This is traditionally made with lamb since it’s cheaper however, beef tastes a lot better.

Serve with mashed potatoes.



  1. Cut up the onion, carrot and celery into bite-sized chunks roughly the same size as the meat. The garlic can go in whole.
  2. Brown the meat on all sides. Get a large pot with some oil and sear the edges of the meat. Do this in batches and try not to overcrowd the pot. Browning the meat on the outside will give it a much nicer texture when you go to eat this and should not be skipped for convenience.
  3. Remove the meat and add in the vegetables. Adding some salt will help remove the moisture in the veg and will help deglaze the caramelized bits at the bottom of the pot.
  4. (Optional) If you have a Guinness or some other stout add the meat back in an deglaze with about a third of the can. This will add some extra flavor. Wait until the alcohol has completely evaporated until you stir or continue.
  5. Add back in the meat and add in the stock and herbs. Lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 2 - 2.5 hours.
  6. After 2 hours the stew will be a bit thicker but probably still watery. The easiest thing to do is add some cut up potatoes for the last half hour. The starch will help thicken the stew considerably. Otherwise you can mix a teaspoon of flour with water in a cup and slowly add this to the stew while whisking.

There you have it, an idiot-proof stew that should taste reasonably well. Besides browning the meat this is really just throwing stuff into a pot in a certain order. This is the kind of dish that tastes better the next day so it’s ideal for making on a Sunday and eating for the next 2 or 3 days.


Recipe tags: irish stew lamb beef

Recipe posted on: 2021-03-21, last edited on: 2021-03-21, written by: Sylvain Gauthier