Slow Cooker Irish Stew is the most delicious hearty stew made with tender lamb or beef, vegetables, and a rich, savory broth. It is the ultimate comfort food, and the best part? You can throw it all together in your slow cooker and let it do the work for you.
There’s something about a hearty stew that just feels like a warm hug from the inside out, and this Slow Cooker Irish Stew is no exception. Made with tender chunks of beef or lamb, root vegetables, and a rich, savory broth, this dish is the ultimate comfort food. What’s more, it’s made entirely in a slow cooker, which means that all the hard work is done for you. Simply toss in your ingredients, let the slow cooker work its magic, and come back hours later to a delicious, warming meal.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. We’re giving you the option to use lamb or beef, depending on your personal preferences. Both options will give you a delicious and tender meat that’s perfect for stewing. So whether you’re a die-hard lamb fan or a beef aficionado, you can make this recipe work for you.
While Guinness beer gives this Slow Cooker Irish Stew a rich and complex flavor, it’s understandable that not everyone may want to use alcohol in their cooking. Fortunately, there are many substitutions available for both the beer and red wine called for in the recipe. If you prefer not to cook with alcohol, you can simply leave out the beer and/or red wine and use extra beef broth in its place.
If you’re looking for a classic pairing, consider serving the stew with some crusty bread or soda bread to mop up the delicious broth. Mashed potatoes or colcannon are also a great option, as they can be used to soak up the flavorful broth and make the meal even heartier. If you prefer something lighter, you could serve the stew over a bed of fluffy rice or egg noodles. For a burst of freshness and color, garnish the stew with some chopped parsley or scallions before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, browning the meat before adding it to the slow cooker is an important step that helps to develop flavor and texture. It’s worth taking the extra time to do this step properly.
When it comes to Irish stew, it’s best to use waxy or all-purpose potatoes, rather than starchy potatoes like russets. Waxy potatoes hold their shape well during cooking, and won’t fall apart or turn to mush in the stew. Some good options include Yukon Gold, red potatoes, or new potatoes.
This recipe can be cooked on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. It’s important to note that cooking times can vary depending on your slow cooker, so be sure to check the meat and vegetables for tenderness before serving.
You absolutely can make this recipe on the stove instead of your slow cooker. You can find detailed instructions here.
Storage & Reheating Instructions
This stew can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply warm the stew in a saucepan over medium heat until heated through, adding extra beef broth or water if needed to thin out the broth.
Alternatively, you can reheat any leftovers in the microwave in 30-second increments until warmed through.
If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious soup recipes:
Slow Cooker Irish Stew
- 2 pounds potatoes cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 carrots cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 onion chopped (yellow or white)
- 3 garlic cloves minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 2 pounds lamb shoulder or beef chuck cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1/4 cup flour
- 22 ounces Guinness Beer
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine optional
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Peel and cut up the potatoes, carrots, and onion. Mince the garlic. Cut the beef or lamb into 2-inch chunks. Pat dry and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-based pot over high heat. Add the meat in batches and brown on all sides. Once browned, add to the slow cooker.
- Lower heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes until softened, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
- Add the Guinness beer, beef broth, and red wine (if using), stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the contents of the pan into the slow cooker along with the carrots, potatoes, thyme, and bay leaves.
- Set the slow cooker on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours until the meat and vegetables are tender to your liking.
- Remove the lid during the last 30-45 minutes to help the broth thicken more.
- Remove the thyme and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley.