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Irish Country Stew

Traditional Irish stew was basically peasant food in the old country. It’s fundamental ingredients are lamb, potatoes and other vegetables that were abundant in the region. The Guinness was added some time later.

Irish Stew

Irish Stew
Image: Wikimedia


  • 3lbs diced shoulder of lamb
  • 1 liter (34floz) of cold water
  • 1 liter (34floz) beef or lamb stock
  • 16ozs of Guinness stout (optional)
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium white onions, cubed
  • 2 large carrots, cubed
  • 6 sticks of celery, cubed
  • 1 cup pearl barley (optional)
  • 1 bunch of fresh chopped parsley
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Firstly, remove the impurities from the lamb to ensure the stock is clear and grease free by doing the following:
    • Put the lamb into a large pot along with the cold water and place over a moderate heat until it begins to boil.
    • Once it has begun to boil, empty the contents of the pot through a large colander allowing the liquid to run off.
    • Rinse the lamb under cold running water until all the residue has been removed – now you have refreshed the lamb.
  2. If you are using the barley (which you should do if you want a more authentic Irish country stew), cook it for 20 minutes in 3 cups of lamb or beef stock. You’ll add to the stew later.
  3. Place the pot over a moderate heat and add in the beef/lamb stock with the Guinness stout, if using, and the refreshed diced lamb.
  4. Add the thyme, bay leaves, rosemary and season with salt and milled white pepper.
  5. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes until lamb becomes tender.
  6. Now add the diced potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and barley (if necessary), and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes. (Keep the lid off the pot during the cooking process to allow water to evaporate for a more intense flavor.)
  7. Add the freshly chopped parsley and serve in large bowls.

Serves 6

Éirinn go Brách

Steve D.


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