posted in Cookbook Reviews

Irish Stew

There is something very comforting about stew. I made this recipe from Rachel Allen’s Irish Family Food Cookbook last weekend for my family. It wasn’t a terribly cold day. In fact, it was one of those rather warm, spring-like days where shorts and flip flops were appropriate. But still I assembled this Irish Stew and put it into the oven around noon. It simmered for a couple of hours and delivered a scent to our kitchen that was decidedly welcome.

This stew was best eaten right out of the oven- the lamb so pull-apart tender and delicious. Author Allen suggests making it with bone-in chops for the greatest flavor results. Those are tough to find around my neck-of-the-woods, so I made it with lamb stew meat instead. It was still fabulous, and it would be a great choice for a St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

It’s actually a little bit odd that I had never made an Irish Stew before. My husband (Brian Patrick Michael) is about as Irish as they come. He’s quite drawn to Irish Pubs- loves sampling the beer and enjoys the food too. And so it came to be that this cookbook from Ireland’s #1 bestselling cookbook author arrived in the mail. I was thrilled to flip through and read about recipes that you’d never find in an Irish pub in America: Fish Cakes, Kale & Bean Stew, Pork Chops with Sage & Apple, Hot Buttered Lobster, Crumbed Bacon Chops with Sweet Whiskey Sauce (yes!), Roast Pork Belly with Cumin and Garlic Rub, Beef and Red Wine Hot Pot, Sticky Cumin and Apricot Roast Carrots & Parsnips, Cauliflower Cheese, Spotted Dog, Fluffy Lemon Pudding and Brown Bread Ice Cream.

Rachel’s Irish Family Food is a beautiful cookbook with a ton of photos and easy to follow, traditional Irish recipes. If I were hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party this year, I’d be choosing recipes from this book! Would you like a copy? Well, I’m giving away a copy of this book today. Use the widget below for up to 4 chances to win a copy of the book (open to USA only- giveaway ends on Sunday, March 10th)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this cookbook for review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions shared are my own. Amazon affiliate links are included within this post.

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 2 hours

Irish Stew


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds lamb stew meat (see tips below)
3 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
3 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lamb or chicken stock (broth)
8 medium white or red potatoes, peeled and halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large Dutch oven or flameproof casserole dish. Add the lamb to the hot oil and cook until browned on all sides (a few minutes). Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside. Add the carrots and onions to the pan- stir and cook for a few minutes, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Return the meat to the pot, add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and season again with salt and pepper. Place thyme sprigs on top.

3. Cover and bake in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is very tender. (see tips below for alternative step here) Add chopped herbs and serve.


*The author suggests using 3 1/3 pounds lamb chops from the neck or shoulder, still on the bone (cut 3/4-inch thick). I chose to use stew meat instead.
*If your stew yields excess fat, you may wish to pour off the cooking liquid and allow it to sit for a few minutes until the fat floats to the top (author suggests adding an ice cube to speed up the process). Spoon off the fat and pour the juices back over the stew. NOTE: I didn't have a problem with excess fat using just lamb stew meat.

Source: (Adapted from Rachel's Irish Family Food cookbook)

Other Irish recipes on the blogs that you might enjoy!
Guinness- Braised Beef Stew by A Pretty Life
Apricot- Glazed Corned Beef with Colcannon and Sauteed Cabbage by Closet Cooking
How to Make Irish Butter by David Lebovitz

57 Responses to “Irish Stew”

  1. postedMar 5, 2013 5:41 AM

    Happily subscribed!!! :) That stew looks fantastic!!

  2. postedMar 5, 2013 5:41 AM
    Leslie Moore

    I follow your RSS feed! This stew looks delicious and I will definitely be making it for St. Patrick’s day!

  3. postedMar 5, 2013 5:58 AM

    I am a subscriber! :)

  4. postedMar 5, 2013 6:01 AM

    This looks delicious and easy!
    My kids are Irish Pub fans, as well, so I”ll be testing this recipe! Pinned it so I won’t lose it!

  5. postedMar 5, 2013 6:09 AM

    This looks delicious!!

  6. postedMar 5, 2013 6:11 AM

    I’m a subscriber!

  7. postedMar 5, 2013 6:12 AM

    This looks amazing!

  8. postedMar 5, 2013 6:41 AM

    I love watching Rachel Allen! Okay I love her accent.

    I want this stewwww, babay.

  9. postedMar 5, 2013 7:31 AM

    I’m a subscriber- and your stew looks wonderful!

  10. postedMar 5, 2013 7:56 AM

    Looks amazing! I’m considering making this tonight with unsalted broth and no added salt, so I can purée some up for my baby girl (we would salt at the table for adults!). We have beef stew meat on hand. Any thoughts on how beef would be with this? Should it cook any differently?

    • March 5th, 2013 @ 8:02 AM

      Marie- I would cook it just the same with beef too!

  11. postedMar 5, 2013 8:15 AM

    This stew looks amazing,my grandma used to make a similar version

  12. postedMar 5, 2013 9:01 AM

    A great meal for these final days of winter!

  13. postedMar 5, 2013 9:05 AM
    Elizabeth F.

    I’m an RSS subscriber to Recipe Girl!

    Thanks for this chance to win the Rachel Allen book. I’m sure the recipes are GREAT but I’ll bet the reason we don’t see these types of dishes in Irish pubs here is because they’re not traditional Irish dishes. They’re probably danged good, but they’re not “Irish”, so to speak, other than they’re made by an Irish woman:). Her mother-in-law, Darina Allen, has an excellent book, “Irish Traditional Cooking”. A REALLY good book if one is looking for traditional stuff. A wealth of information!

    • March 5th, 2013 @ 9:45 AM

      Well, I definitely don’t know her personally, but the author refers to the recipes in the book as family recipes inspired by both traditional and modern Irish cooking, and she writes about the different provinces and the foods/recipes that are common in each province. In any case, it all sounds wonderful to me!

  14. postedMar 5, 2013 11:02 AM

    I would love this book. My husband is an Irish guy too!

  15. postedMar 5, 2013 11:06 AM

    I love St Patrick’s Day especially the love for everyone is Irish on that day! Growing up with an Irish household this is a staple and very similar to what my grandma makes. Can’t wait to try it!

  16. postedMar 5, 2013 11:07 AM
    Elizabeth F.

    Lori: You’re absolutely right. I shouldn’t have phrased it the way I did. What I should have said is that our Irish pubs generally serve what we Americans think of as traditional Irish fare! Heck, my only knowledge of what’s ‘traditional’ comes from her mother-in-law’s book and that focuses on down and dirty traditional, down through the ages, with no modern influences. So that was an unfair comment I made. Sorry, Rachel Allen!:)

  17. postedMar 5, 2013 11:48 AM

    Added you to my google reader! Thanks for the yummy stew recipe!

  18. postedMar 5, 2013 12:24 PM

    Oh Lori! I love a pot of Irish Stew and yours looks perfect!!!

  19. postedMar 5, 2013 2:24 PM

    Follow you on Bloglovin and via email!

  20. postedMar 5, 2013 5:45 PM

    I’ve only had lamb once in my life and it was amazing. I would love this! Sounds perfect.

  21. postedMar 5, 2013 7:53 PM
    Margie Huddleston

    I’m a subscriber and a fan of your yummy recipes! :)

  22. postedMar 5, 2013 8:14 PM
    Kristen C.

    I just subscribed!

  23. postedMar 5, 2013 9:10 PM
    Melissa G.

    I’m a subscriber! I would love this cookbook :)

  24. postedMar 5, 2013 10:48 PM

    Lori, what a great stew. I have been looking at Irish dishes all day, this looks amazing! Honestly I have never had lamb (that I can remember). But, this may just inspire me to try it! Thanks!

  25. postedMar 6, 2013 1:16 AM

    I subscribe to your email!

  26. postedMar 6, 2013 3:32 AM

    I subscribe to RecipeGirl. My oldest son would love this cookbook.

  27. postedMar 6, 2013 6:02 AM
    Rebecca H

    I follow you already and adore Rachel Allen. It would be so fun to attend one of her cookery classes in Ireland sometime…

  28. postedMar 6, 2013 6:27 AM

    I am a subscriber!

  29. postedMar 6, 2013 6:31 AM
    Debbie Caraballo

    I’m a subscriber!

  30. postedMar 6, 2013 8:20 AM
    Susan P

    I am subscribed to Recipe Girl!

  31. postedMar 6, 2013 9:14 AM
    Maureen Summers


  32. postedMar 6, 2013 9:16 AM

    Hi, Lori! Gorgeous stew — makes me want to curl up in a huge armchair and stay out of the snow where I live.

    Quick question: What programs/software do you use to place text/vectors on your food photos? I’ve tried doing it in multiple programs (Photoshop, Illustrator) and the final JPG makes the text grainy.

    • March 6th, 2013 @ 6:35 PM

      no idea… I have a designer (Purr Design) that figures out all that stuff for me!

    • March 6th, 2013 @ 6:35 PM

      I usually use Ribbet or PicMonkey.

  33. postedMar 6, 2013 10:02 AM

    The stew looks so hearty and incredible! Love all the big chunks of veggies with the tender lamb!

  34. postedMar 6, 2013 11:20 AM
    Lakenya Joy

    subscribed :)

  35. postedMar 6, 2013 11:21 AM
    Lakenya Joy

    im fan on facebok :)

  36. postedMar 6, 2013 11:44 AM

    I’m an email subscriber!

    These recipes look amazing!

  37. postedMar 6, 2013 12:48 PM

    I subscribe via email.

  38. postedMar 6, 2013 1:08 PM

    A subscriber, and a happy reader to see a stew recipe today. It’s snowy out, and the idea of stew just really appeals.

  39. postedMar 6, 2013 1:34 PM
    Regina P.

    I am a subscriber :)

  40. postedMar 6, 2013 2:12 PM

    I’m a subscriber and this looks amazing! I bet it tastes wonderful too.

  41. postedMar 6, 2013 2:23 PM

    I’m a subscriber

  42. postedMar 6, 2013 3:41 PM
    April Smith

    I am a subscriber and Ireland is my favorite place in the whole world. Recently made Irish bangers (sausages) and mash with gravy for dinner–YUM!!!

  43. postedMar 6, 2013 7:00 PM

    I am a subscriber and always look forward to “Recipe Girl”! :)

  44. postedMar 6, 2013 11:57 PM
    Amanda G

    I subscribed by RSS. The stew looks great!

  45. postedMar 7, 2013 3:55 PM

    Many Irish in my family – would LUV this cookbook!

  46. postedMar 9, 2013 5:17 PM

    Thank you SO much for the shout out Lori! And your stew looks fantastic!

  47. postedMar 10, 2013 4:20 PM

    This sounds so delicious!

  48. postedMar 11, 2013 7:16 PM

    Made this last night along with the Cheesy Soda Scones – it was great! Very simple to put together, and the house smells great while it’s in the oven. I used red new potatoes and left the skin on, which added nice color. I couldn’t find lamb stew meat, so I bought some leg steaks and cubed them up and it was falling apart tender in 1 1/2 hours. Delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  49. postedMar 15, 2013 9:49 PM

    Could you make this in the crock pot?

    • March 15th, 2013 @ 11:46 PM

      I didn’t try it in the crockpot, so I’m not sure. Maybe if you cooked it low and slow…

  50. postedMar 17, 2013 1:31 PM
    Lisa Cornely

    Delicious stew recipe, made this for St. Patrick’s Day except I used beef in place of lamb. It was flavorful and enjoyed by all. Thanks for sharing.

  51. postedMar 23, 2013 10:09 AM

    I featured your irish stew in my blog.

    Thanks for sharing such a delicious recipe!

  52. postedMar 15, 2014 12:21 PM
    duane c doyle

    i have a recipe almost like that only different I use cooked bacon , sausage and apple cider instead of broth thanks, duane

Leave a Comment