Irish Stew: the hearty, delicious recipe for a classic St. Patrick’s Day dinner

Total time: 2H40
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

If you're planning a St. Patrick's Day feast for your friend and family this year, you'll definitely want to make this phenomenal traditional Irish stew. Made from succulent pieces of lamb and a medley of vegetables cooked in a rich gravy, each bite is a delight to the senses.

It's an easy recipe to make – the hardest part is waiting for the stew to finish slow-cooking in the oven while your home fills with incredible aromas! But Irish stew isn't just for St. Paddy's Day. Make it any time of year for a wholesome, nutritious, comforting dish that the whole family will adore.

Irish Stew Ingredients

Lamb is the star of traditional Irish stew. You can use mutton if you prefer. Mutton has a stronger, more gamey flavor compared to lamb, but either will be delicious in this recipe.

Potatoes add bulk to the stew. Floury potatoes like Russet, Idaho, or Maris Piper work beautifully in an Irish stew. Yukon Gold potatoes are fantastic, too.

For additional flavor, you'll need aromatic vegetables like carrots, onion, and leeks, plus some cabbage.

Use beef stock for the liquid base of the stew, and don't forget a little flour to thicken the gravy. Finally, you'll need some salt and pepper to season the stew.

How to Make Irish Stew

Ready to get cooking? Here's how to make the best homemade Irish stew! Start by heating your oven to 350F. Sauté half the lamb in a skillet over medium-high heat, making sure to brown it on each side. Once browned, remove it from the skillet and pop it in a Dutch oven. Layer half the potatoes, half the leeks, half the carrots, and half the onion over the lamb. Brown the rest of the lamb, then layer it over the vegetables. Top the lamb with the remaining veggies.

Whisk the flour into the fat so it soaks everything up. Turn down the heat and cook the mixture for 2 to 3 minutes until the raw flour smell dissipates. Whisk the beef stock into the skillet one ladle at a time, mixing until the gravy is lump-free. Use as much stock as needed, keeping in mind you probably won't need all of it.

Add the gravy and stock to the Dutch oven and season generously with salt and pepper. Pop the lid on the Dutch oven and stick it in the oven. Cook the stew for 1 hour, then take it out and stir in the cabbage. Cook it for an additional hour, until the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender, then serve with plenty of crusty bread and enjoy!


Tips for Making the Best Irish Stew

Lamb cutlets work best if you're using lamb.

Use either homemade or store-bought beef stock.

To make a gluten-free Irish stew, swap out the flour for cornstarch.

What to Serve Irish Stew

Because Irish stew has potatoes, it's a hearty dish that doesn't need much else on your dinner table. However, there are a few side dishes that will accompany your stew perfectly.

The most important thing to serve with your Irish stew is a crusty loaf of bread or homemade dinner rolls – you'll want to soak up all that mouthwatering gravy! Irish soda bread is also fabulous with this stew. Other great sides include steamed green beans, braised red cabbage, or roasted mixed veggies.

How to Store Irish Stew

Transfer leftover stew to an airtight container and refrigerate it for three to 4 days. You can freeze your Irish stew for up to 3 months.

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Extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp
lamb cutlets or mutton cubed, divided
1 pound
potatoes, peeled and quartered, divided
2 pounds
carrots, divided
1 cup
chopped yellow onion, divided
1 cup
leeks, divided
1 cup
All-purpose flour
2 tbsp
beef stock
3 cups
cabbage leaves, thinly sliced
2 to 3
kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 350F.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high. Sauté half the lamb, turning occasionally, until browned.

Remove with a slotted spoon and arrange into a plate.

Next, place the lamb pieces in a Dutch oven.

Thinly slice leeks.

Chop carrots.

Layer and half the leeks over the lamb.

Add half of the onion.

Layer half the carrots over the lamb.

Add half of the potatoes. Sauté the remaining lamb until browned. Place the lamb on the vegetables in the Dutch oven. Layer the remaining vegetables over the lamb.

Whisk the flour into the skillet with the fat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until thickened.

Whisk in the beef stock one ladle at a time, mixing until the gravy is lump-free. Use as much stock as needed. When deglazing your skillet with the stock, be sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. This is the secret to an ultra-flavorful stew.

Add the gravy to the Dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the remaining stock.

Cover the pot with a lid. Make sure the meat is always covered in liquid. Check on the stew occasionally and if the liquid has evaporated too much, pour in some extra boiling water or stock.

Cook the stew for 1 hour.

Remove from oven and add the cabbage, then cook for 1 hour more.

Once done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, serve and enjoy!


If you're watching your salt intake, use low-sodium stock.

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