This traditional Irish Guinness stew recipe is the perfect dish to serve for an authentic St. Patrick's Day meal.
Lamb Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Whipping up a traditional lamb stew is a must if you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. But honestly, this recipe is so simple and flavorful, we make it all year long. It’s a great one-dish comfort dinner that feeds a large group and also yields lovely leftovers which taste even better the next day.

The exact ingredients in an Irish stew can vary, but a classic recipe will usually include lamb or mutton, potatoes, onions and carrots. Some recipes add leeks, barley or will swap out the lamb for beef. Regardless of the exact combination, this hearty stew is a real crowd-pleaser.

Lamb Stew Ingredients

  • Lamb
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Guinness stout
  • Potatoes
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Step 1: Brown the meat

Preheat your oven to 325°F. Heat the oil and butter in an ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once it’s nice and hot, add the lamb and cook in batches until it develops a lovely, rich brown color. Put it off to the side, cover and keep warm.

Step 2: Saute the veg and assemble

Put the carrots and onions in the Dutch oven and saute them in the lamb drippings until the vegetables soften and become nice and tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so, then slowly pour in the chicken broth and Guinness. Now it’s time to get your lamb back in the mix, along with the potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Give it a good stir.

Editor’s Tip: Add a small pinch of sugar to the mix to help balance out the bold flavors of Guinness.

Step 3: Bake

Once assembled, cover the Dutch oven with a lid and put into the oven. Let it bake for about one and a half to two hours. Be sure to check on your stew every half hour or so and give it a gentle stir.

Editor’s Tip: Once the delicious aroma starts filling your kitchen, you may be tempted to rush things, but just let it simmer until the liquid thickens.

Step 4: Finish

Once the stew is hot and thick, discard bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Stir in additional salt and pepper to taste, then ladle it up and enjoy.

Lamb Stew Tips

How do you get the stew to thicken?

If the stew is taking a long time to thicken, add some gravy granules to speed things along.

Can you freeze lamb stew?

Place individual portions of stew in freezer containers and freeze up to three months. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally; add a little water if necessary.

Lamb Stew

My grandmother used to make this stew as a special Sunday meal. It's an unforgettable treat from Ireland. —Vickie Desourdy, Washington, North Carolina
Lamb Stew Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours


8 servings (2.50 quarts)


  • 2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Guinness stout or additional reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, brown lamb in butter and oil in batches. Remove and keep warm. In the same pan, saute carrots and onions in drippings until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Gradually add broth and beer. Stir in lamb, potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and bake 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender, stirring every 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves, thyme and rosemary. Stir in cream; heat through.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/4 cups: 311 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 829mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 26g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 vegetable, 1 starch, 1 fat.