Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness and Root Vegetables

Out of all the recipes around the world that feature lamb, Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness is one of the best known in Western Culture. It’s a rich, filling dish, and was probably a vehicle for older mutton, with it’s richer taste, and need for lengthy cooking to become tender.

Traditional Irish lamb stew with Guinness and root vegetables.
Irish lamb stew with vegetables.

Like some of the greatest dishes in the world, Irish stew was born from poverty cuisine, with people using whatever they had available, and the meat would often be unloved cuts like neck bones and other things, scrap and trim. If you want to be really historically accurate, you might consider using bone-in lamb or goat, which was probably the true cut originally used for the dish, as it would have been with it’s Scottish cousin, Hotch Potch.

Irish Lamb Stew Recipe Ingredients

For the vegetables, potatoes, carrots, and onions are the most commonly mentioned ingredients, but other root vegetables would undoubtedly have been added in season. Here, Chef Alan Bergo outlines his version using a large mix of different root vegetables for an exiting blend of flavors perfect for fall or winter when the best roots are available. Choose a variety of your favorite root vegetables and make the stew your own.Get Cooking

Vegetable ingredients for traditional Irish Lamb Stew: potatoes, onion, turnip, rutabaga, carrot, parsnip, garlic.
Root vegetables for our stew: potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, and carrots.

Chef Alan Bergo

This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

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Traditional Irish grass fed lamb stew
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Irish Lamb Stew with Guinness and Root Vegetables

A flavorful lamb stew recipe flavored with root vegetables and Guinness or stout. Perfect for St. Patrick's Day.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 25 minutes
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: Irish, Lamb, Lamb stew
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 682kcal
Cost: 10


  • 1 Dutch oven or deep soup pot


  • 1.5 lbs lamb stew meat, goat stew meat or shoulder cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 lbs mixed root vegetables and potatoes peeled and cut into large pieces (see photo)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1.5 cups dark beer such as Guinness
  • All purpose flour as needed for dredging
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 large cloves garlic finely minced
  • ½ cup rendered lamb fat or other cooking oil
  • 4 cups lamb stock or water or beef stock in a pinch
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 2 dried bay leaves


  • Pour the beer over the meat and refrigerate overnight (optional). The next day, remove the meat and dry well, then season the lamb with salt (1 teaspoon) and lightly with pepper.
  • Toss the meat with flour, add the lamb to the fat and brown, then add the garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the beer, thyme, bay leaves, a good pinch of salt, and stock, cover and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Skim the fat off the top and discard, then add the vegetables and cook until they’re tender and taste good to you, about 30 minutes more at a gentle simmer.
  • Finally, double check the seasoning for salt and adjust as needed. From here the stew can be served as-is, but will taste better after a day, which will thicken it a bit more from the potatoes, and allow you to remove the fat that settles on the top.


  • For a meatier stew, you can use 2 lbs of meat. 
  • Different cuts of lamb can be used, but lamb shoulder or neck will be the most tender. Stew meat from a leg of lamb will be dry. 
  • I use a mix of root vegetables, but if all you have is celery, carrots, potatoes and onions it'll be just fine.


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 682kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 475mg | Potassium: 1487mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 4mg