This Irish Lamb Stew is an easy, healthy, and hearty dinner! It’s packed with tender lamb meat, and root vegetables, flavored with the best seasonings, and your favorite stout beer!

Bowls of lamb stew waiting to be enjoyed.

Lamb is a superb protein to work with for this recipe. A lot of people avoid it because it’s associated with having a “gamey” flavor, but trust us on this: when it’s cooked correctly, lamb is incredible! It’s also super versatile! It’s begging to be used in slowly braised lamb shanks or for a perfectly grilled rack of lamb. Throw it in ground lamb meatballs, medfouna, stuffed lamb burgers, and soups and stews! 

This slow-cooker lamb stew is one of the best lamb stew recipes and a classic way to enjoy lamb! The low and slow cook time gives all of the flavors in the stew so much time to meld together. It also gives the meat plenty of time to become fall-apart, melt-in-your-mouth tender, just like our sous vide lamb shanks. Slow cooking provides a richer flavor and plenty of delicious browned bits.

This delicious stew will definitely have you coming back for seconds…and probably even thirds! 

Close up of lamb stew in a serving bowl.
Sink into a seriously cozy bowl of comforting lamb stew, loaded with potatoes, shredded meat and peas – all braised in the slow cooker!

What is traditional Irish Lamb stew?

Traditional Irish stew is a thick, chunky stew made up of tender chunks of lamb or mutton and a blend of root vegetables such as potato and onion, and sometimes carrot. You’ll see it commonly eaten on St. Patrick’s Day and other Irish holidays.

Some argue that adding anything else to the stew means it’s no longer traditional, but bulk up your Irish stew with additional veggies, herbs, and beer! You can easily make this recipe for lamb stew using a handful of ingredients. The slow-cooked lamb stew is bursting with a smoky flavor everyone will love.

Ingredients for lamb stew.

Ingredients to Make Irish Lamb Stew

  • Celery, Onion, and Carrot – make up a “mirepoix” which helps create a flavor base for the soup.
  • Garlic – use freshly minced garlic cloves for the best flavor.
  • Lamb – you’ll use both lamb shoulder and lamb shank for this recipe.
  • Seasonings: Use a simple blend of salt, pepper, paprika, and oregano.
  • Tomatoes – use canned and chopped tomatoes. No need to drain the can. It incorporates directly into the broth.
  • Beer – use stout beer for a more traditional flavor. Guinness beer is a fan favorite.
  • Beef Broth – a flavorful base for the soup. You could also use homemade bone broth.
  • Potatoes – Russet potatoes work great, but other varieties will work as well. Baby potatoes are also perfect!
  • Water and Cornstarch – whisk together to form a slurry which helps thicken the soup. You can also swap the cornstarch for arrowroot powder if preferred.
  • Frozen Peas – adds color and a pop of texture.
  • Fresh Parsley – for garnish!

While the beef stock is preferred, the chicken stock will work if absolutely needed. It won’t have the same Guinness Irish stew flavor, but the basic ingredients will make up for it.

How to Make Irish Lamb Stew

  • Place the veggies and garlic into the slow cooker. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then add that to the slow cooker over the veggies.
  • Add the smoked paprika and oregano, then pour in the tomatoes, beer, and broth. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-6 hours. 
  • Remove the lamb and shred with two forks, discard the bones, and return to the crockpot. Add the potatoes and cook for another 2-3 hours.
  • Whisk together a slurry with the water and cornstarch. Stir that in with the rest of the ingredients to thicken. Allow the lamb stew to simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes while everything comes together.
  • Finally, stir in the green peas and garnish with parsley before dishing up.

Girl Carnivore Expert Tips

  • You can swap the lamb stew meat for beef if preferred. The soup won’t be a traditional lamb recipe, but it will still be delicious!
  • Whisk the slurry well. You don’t want clumps of cornstarch in your hearty Irish stew recipe.
  • Make this in a large dutch oven or stockpot on the stove top instead if you’re shorter on time. Just assemble and simmer on low until cooked through. A low simmer is ideal for getting the best flavor for this hearty stew.

Recipe FAQs

What beer to use in Irish stew?

Stout beer is the way to go! If you can find Guinness in cans or bottles to keep this stew Irish, great! If not, other dark beers will work too. A Modelo Negro from Mexico is great, or any brand of porter. 
Don’t freak out if you can’t easily find a dark ale. If worse comes to worst, you can even use light beer…you just have to call it “Irish Stew Lite.” 😉 

How do I thicken Irish stew in the slow cooker?

We thicken this Irish stew using a slurry made up of water and cornstarch or arrowroot powder. You’ll whisk that in 30-40 minutes before the soup is done cooking.
If you mix in the slurry and the soup still isn’t thickened to your liking, you can try mashing some of the potatoes or transferring the soup to the stove to simmer until more moisture evaporates.

Can you use other veggies?

You can use any big root veggies in place of potatoes if you like. Rutabaga, turnip, or even sweet potato or yam will work. 
You can also add other types of veggies to the stew if preferred. Try frozen green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, kale, cabbage, leeks, you name it.

Can you make Irish stew in the instant pot?

This crock pot lamb stew can be made in the instant pot in a pinch. It makes for easy meals, and when you use the right cut of meat, the pressure cooking does the job just fine. The high pressure will bring out the juices and flavors just as well. Be sure to follow the instructions for heating meat and natural pressure release if you choose instant pot lamb stew.

A big bowl of comforting lamb stew with potatoes and shredded slow cooked lamb

What to Serve with Irish Lamb Stew

You can serve this stew on its own or with a chunk of crusty Irish soda bread to soak up the broth! It’s also delicious and served over a pile of mamas mashed potatoes, spooned over a smoked baked potato, or smoked cabbage. This flavorful lamb stew is served nicely with smokey eggplants and other various vegetables.

Leftovers and Reheating

Leftover beef stew will last in airtight containers in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then microwave or warm on the stove until heated through. Use a large stock pot for larger quantities of hearty lamb stew. If you choose to freeze your stew, place it in freezer-safe bags or containers.

Love Lamb? See more lamb recipes!


You and your family will love this authentic Irish stew if you are a fan of lamb. Enjoy the thick broth and rich flavor of a Guinness stout on colder winter days or any day of the year. If you’ve tried our Slow Cooker Lamb Stew Recipe or any other recipe on please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below. We get inspired by your feedback and comments!

Slow Cooker Irish Lamb Stew

4.94 from 45 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 7 hours 20 minutes
Total: 7 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Slow Cooker Smoky Irish Lamb Stew | Kita Roberts
This is a hearty comforting lamb stew, loaded with shredded meat, a savory broth, carrots, peas and large bites of tender potatoes.
  • Slow Cooker


  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lbs bone-in lamb shoulder
  • 1 lbs bone-in lamb shank 
  • salt and pepper 
  • 2 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 teas oregano
  • 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 10 oz stout beer 
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 large russet potatoes washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 to 4 tbs cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas 
  • Fresh parsley chopped for garnish


  • Place the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic in a large slow cooker. Season the lamb with salt nd pepper and nestle into the slow cooker over the vegetables.
  • Add the smoked paprika and oregano. Pour in the tomatoes, beer, and broth. Cover and allow to cook for 5 to 6 hours on low.
  • Carefully remove the lamb and shred, discarding bones and any fat. Return to the crock pot.
  • Add the potatoes to the crock pot and cook for another 2 to 3 hours over low, until the potatoes are fork tender.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the water and cornstarch together to create a slurry. Stir into the crock pot and allow the stew to thicken, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the peas and heat through.
  • Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.


You can prep this recipe a day ahead, up until you add the potatoes. Allow the soup to cool, if making ahead, spooning any fat off from the surface and discard.
This stew is perfect in a Dutch oven or other stock pot as well if you do not want to make it in the crock pot. Just simmer over low. 


Calories: 242kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 869mg | Potassium: 1024mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4800IU | Vitamin C: 24.5mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 4.4mg
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts

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Slow Cooker Smoky Irish Lamb Stew

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Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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4.94 from 45 votes (41 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


    1. Thank you, Ms. Nardi! I just added you to our email list so every fresh recipe comes right to your inbox.

  1. 4 stars
    Very tasty recipe! Using chopped tomatoes instead of tomato paste keeps it wonderfully moist. The Guinness makes it truly authentic–if that’s too bitter for you, use a dark beer or late season double Bock, which are a little sweeter. How do you get that beautiful dark color in your serving photos?

    1. Hey JC, This was shot in late winter – I remember it was a snow day and I was running out of light! I shoot the real food (gasp!) after we’ve tested the recipes right before we dive in which I think is why most of my images are dark and moody. Im glad you gave this one a try!

  2. 5 stars
    Made this for my wife and me for Sunday dinner. It was fantastic. It was a great autumn dish, rich and warming. Mine came out towards the soup side of stew so if you have hints on thickening I would love to hear. I didn’t start cooking for us until my wife took ill a couple of years ago, so there is a good chance I missed something obvious.

    1. Hi Mr. Moore, I am SO glad you tried this dish. Lamb stew is one of my favorite comfort foods, and I think a bold recipe to take on. For thickening, you can make a ‘slurry’ which is a blend of a little water and little cornstarch in a small bowl. You then mix that into stew, and let it simmer for a bit longer. The cornstarch will work to thicken the liquid up a bit. This trick works for most things when it’s a little too watery. Just give it time to cook out the cornstarch flavor by letting it simmer a bit after adding.

  3. 5 stars
    Made it for St. Paddy’s Day this week. Wife was skeptical about lamb in the stew. It changed her mind.
    I opted to use a Dutch oven on my grill, because who doesn’t want the grill running on a day off?
    My Dutch oven was a little bit smaller than my Crock Pot. Because I either used too much lamb (if that’s possible) or due to the size of my pot, I was only able to use a little over half the beef broth.
    Still, with the reduction of the beef broth, the stew was still on the waterery side at the end of the cook. I ended up moving the Dutch oven over direct heat to thicken it up a bit.
    Besides that, the only other thing I would do different next time, is I would cut my onions smaller. I’m not a huge onion fan, and they didn’t taste terrible, but the size I cut ended up being a texture thing to me.
    Oh, and I added a few mushrooms when I added the potatoes (I used Red) because, why not?

  4. Hahaha all about that base, love it. I do not cook with lamb enough. Mostly because I’d be dirt poor if I ate it as much as I want. But it’d be worth ti to make this.

  5. We have 3 crockpots at my house, I have NO idea why… until now. They were meant to be running at the same time, each one just slooooowly preparing this meal. No, seriously… I friggin love lamb stew and St. Patricks day is coming up.

    How long will it keep for?

    1. I never store cooked foods for longer than one week, stored in airtight containers in the fridge. However, you could divide portions into smaller containers and freeze them for grab and go meals. Hope you enjoy!