Irish Stew


Stew and whole wheat soda bread....a perfect pair.

Stew is one of those meals that feels like a hug in a bowl.

My family is Irish, Scottish, German. Our varied heritage means we embrace a little bit from each piece of our backgrounds. Well, mostly we embrace the Irish and the German. I should work on the Scottish.

Irish stew is one of my favorite dishes.

Most Irish stews are made with lamb. The reason, lamb is less expensive in Ireland.

Purist Irish stew is lamb (mutton), potatoes, onions, and water…

This is not a purist stew.

  1. I am not using lamb, because of the higher price of lamb vs. beef and because the idea of eating a lamb always causes a mutiny in my household.
  2. I add carrots, turnip, garlic and barley.

This stew recipe should work with either lamb or beef.

  • 2 1/2 pounds of stew meat (I used beef)
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
  • 2 cups of carrots, diced or sliced
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 clove of garlic, diced
  • 4 cups of beef stock
  • 1- 12 ounce Irish stout beer *optional* if you’re not adding beer, increase your stock my 1 & 1/2 cups
  • 1/2 cup of pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • potatoes *4 large potatoes peeled and diced, or 1 bag (about 4 cups) of small potatoes left whole*
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Heat the oil in a cast iron dutch oven or large stock pot. Add the flour to the meat, coat the meat as evenly as possible. Brown the meat. Once the meat is browned (8-10 minutes), add the beer to the pot. Add the onions, carrots, turnip and garlic. Add the seasoning and spices. Add the beef stock. Add the pearl barley. Stir to combine.

Place the lid on the pot and cook on a medium heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. After 1 hour, add the potatoes. Stir to fully combine the stew with the potatoes. Return the lid to the pot and continue cooking for 1 more hour. (Total cook time, 2 hours).

The lid can be removed for the last 30 minutes to thicken the stew if you wish.


The finished stew

How do you make your stew?



  1. Looks great!

  2. I like that….a hug in a bowl!! Sounds delicious!!

  3. mmmmm, this is what I call comfort food.

  4. Irish stew sounds awesome and totally festive 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. Such a perfect looking stew!

  6. Something very comforting about a stew.
    🙂 Mandy

  7. No matter what mix of ingredients you use, a slow cooked recipe like this with lots of gorgeous veggies is bound to taste wonderful!

  8. I love the purist comment. I don’t think I’m a purist about anything. I agree with Chica Anadaluza, slow cooked with lots of veggies – what’s not to like? (I think that sounded like Ina Garten)

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