This Slow Cooker Irish Stew is an easy, healthy, and hearty dinner! It’s packed with tender lamb, root vegetables, and flavored with the best seasonings and your favorite stout beer!
One of my favorite proteins to work with is lamb. A lot of people avoid it because it’s associated with having a “gamey” flavor, but trust me on this: when it’s cooked correctly, lamb is incredible! It’s also super versatile! Throw it in meatballs, pizza, burgers, and of course soups and stews!
This slow cooker smoky Irish stew is one of my favorite stew recipes and one of my favorite ways 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.
This stew will definitely have you coming back for seconds…and probably even thirds!
What is traditional Irish stew?
Traditional Irish stew is a thick, chunky stew made up of lamb or mutton and a blend of root vegetables such as potato and onion and sometimes carrot.
Some argue that adding anything else to the stew means it’s no longer traditional, but I love to bulk my Irish stew up with additional veggies, herbs, and beer!
What you need
- Celery, Onion, and Carrot – make up a “mirepoix” which helps create a flavor base for the soup.
- Garlic – use freshly minced garlic for the best flavor.
- Lamb – you’ll use both lamb shoulder and lamb shank for this recipe.
- Seasonings: I 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.
- Beef Broth – a flavorful base for the soup.
- Potatoes – I use Russet potatoes, but other varieties will work as well.
- Water and Cornstarch – whisked 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!
How to make slow cooker smoky Irish 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 for 5-6 hours.
Remove the lamb and shred, 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 into the stew to thicken. Allow the lamb stew to simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes while everything comes together.
Finally, stir in the peas and garnish with parsley before dishing up.
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.” 😉
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.
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.
Tips, tricks, and notes for this recipe
- You can swap the lamb for beef if preferred. The soup won’t be traditional but it will still be delicious!
- Whisk the slurry well. You don’t want clumps of cornstarch in your soup.
- Make this in a dutch oven or stockpot on the stove instead if you’re shorter on time. Just assemble and simmer on low until cooked through.
You can serve this stew on its own or with a chunk of bread to soak up the broth! It’s also delicious served over a pile of mashed potatoes.
How to store
Leftover beef stew will last in an airtight container 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.
More lamb recipes you’ll love
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Slow Cooker Irish Lamb Stew
- 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.
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.