Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables

Tested & Perfected Recipes

The lamb in this delicious stew is braised in a flavorful Guinness-spiked broth until it almost falls apart.

guinness lamb stew

Admittedly, I don’t do much to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (other than trying to remember to dress my kids in something green) but I do love the food. To that end, I’ve got two Irish recipes for you this week. First up is this hearty lamb stew with vegetables. The lamb is seared and then braised in a flavorful Guinness-spiked broth until it almost falls apart, and the vegetables are added at just the right time so they don’t get mushy. If you like my Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes, you’ll love this recipe too.

What you’ll need to make Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables

Begin by selecting the right cut of meat, which is lamb shoulder. Locally, I found it at Whole Foods but it was whole so I had to ask the butcher to cut it up for me. Be sure not to buy leg of lamb — it’s best for roasting or grilling, and won’t get tender in a stew. Have your butcher trim as much of the excess fat off the meat as possible, or you can do it yourself when you get home.

You can see some of the excess fat in the photo below where the yellow arrow is. Simply loosen those little flaps of fat with a knife and they pull right off.

How to make Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables

Season the meat with salt and pepper and then brown it in batches in a large pot or Dutch oven.

Be sure the oil is very hot and don’t crowd the pan or the meat won’t sear properly. This step is a bit time consuming but important because it caramelizes the surface of the meat and adds wonderful depth of flavor to the stew.

Set the meat aside, then add the onions and garlic to the pot, along with a few tablespoons of water to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes more.

Add the lamb back to the pot and sprinkle it with flour, which will thicken the broth as it cooks.

Cook and stir for for a few minutes until the flour dissolves.

Add the braising liquid, which is simply beef broth, Guinness, water and herbs.

Bring the broth to a boil, then cover and simmer for about an hour and twenty minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes and continue cooking until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked, about 30 minutes more. Be sure to stir it a few times so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

As you can see below, the broth thickens up nicely as it continues to cook. Right before serving, stir in the frozen green peas. They’ll defrost and cook right in the stew.

You can definitely make this stew a day or two ahead, as the flavor only improves. Just note that the broth thickens up quite a bit in the fridge so you may need to add some water to thin it out.

GLS

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Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables

The lamb in this delicious stew is braised in a flavorful Guinness-spiked broth until it almost falls apart.

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds lamb shoulder, well-trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1-1/2-inch
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water, plus 2 tablespoons more for cooking onions and garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks on diagonal
  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes (baby yukons), cut in half
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

Instructions

  1. Pat the lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the lamb in three batches, adding one more tablespoon of oil for each batch. Do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a brown crust before turning with tongs. It should take 5-8 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned meat to large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and 2 tablespoons of water to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of pan, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes more.
  4. Add the lamb with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the Guinness, beef broth, water, bay leaf, rosemary sprig and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for one hour and twenty minutes.
  6. Add the carrots and potatoes to the stew, then cover and continue simmering until the vegetables are cooked and the meat is very tender, 30-40 minutes. (Be sure to stir a few times to prevent vegetables from sticking to bottom.)
  7. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig, and then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If serving right away, add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are warmed through. Otherwise, let the stew cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat gently on the stovetop and add the peas right before serving.
  8. Make Ahead: This stew can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated gently on the stovetop. Just be sure to add the peas right before serving so they stay fresh. Also, the broth will thicken in the fridge so it may be necessary to thin it with a bit of water (add it little by little).
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just omit the potatoes because they don’t freeze well. If you’d like, boil some potatoes separately when you defrost the stew and either add them into the stew or serve them on the side.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 789
  • Fat: 52g
  • Saturated fat: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Sugar: 9g
  • Fiber: 6g
  • Protein: 42g
  • Sodium: 1242mg
  • Cholesterol: 150mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • My family loved it. My go to from now on when making lamb stew.

    • — Kathy on January 22, 2021
    • Reply
  • Amazing Lamb stew! Reminded us of the Irish stew we had in Ireland. My family loved this, and already wants it again.

    • — Rebecca Slavin on December 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can you use cut up leg of lamb rather than shoulder? Like several of your reviews note, shoulder is not available in my area. Thanks! P.S. Your Maryland Crab Cake recipe was the best! Don’t want to skew your rating score, so I’ll vote 5 stars now and correct with a later view if different.

    • — Blair on October 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend leg of lamb here — it won’t get tender if cooked this way — sorry! And glad to hear you enjoyed the crab cakes. 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 12, 2020
      • Reply
  • I have a comment and a question. First, this is an amazing recipe. I spent over ten years trying every Guinness stew recipe I could find, searching for the elusive taste that I loved from traveling through Ireland on a major budget with my now-husband. I kept thinking I would find the ingredient that was responsible for the missing flavor. I felt so silly when I made yours, using lamb for the first time (every other recipe used beef, and I thought it was beef in Ireland). I realized the flavor I had missed was lamb (which I love, and has really a really recognizable flavor).

    Now the question: for some reason, lamb shoulder is not readily available in my area. I used lamb rib chops, that the butcher cut up, but that is an awfully expensive meal (just the meat was over $60. I do see ground lamb and occasionally lamb shoulder blade chops. Can you recommend the best way (if there is one) to get the lamb flavor using either of these (or something else) in combination with beef?

    By the way, every recipe of yours I have tried has been delicious. There are a couple other bloggers whose recipes I use because they are decent, QUICK everyday family meals. Yours take just a little more time than I sometimes have on weekdays but I can always count on them to be fantastic.

    • — Rachel on September 17, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Rachel! This may be pretty disappointing considering you’ve been looking for so long for a lamb stew that’s “just right,” but I’m not sure of another cut that would make more sense — I’m sorry! While you won’t get the lamb flavor you’re looking for, you may want to give my beef stew a try. It’s similar and delicious!

      • — Jenn on September 21, 2020
      • Reply
  • Omg! My boyfriend is Irish and I wanted to cook a nice easter dinner for him since we are stuck inside. The stew was just so nice! So full of flavour and the meat was as soft as butter! I added some mushrooms and celery. If an Irish man says this stew was nicer than his nanas, then it must be! Thanks for the recipe!

    • — Carla on April 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this last few days ago and we ate it for dinner tonight. My husband and I quite enjoyed it. Being of Irish descent it reminded me quite a bit of my grandmother’s cooking. Not to brag but I was very proud of how the dish turned out. However I did replace sweet potatoes with regular golden potatoes, For my husband does not care for sweet potatoes. I also added a cup of fresh green beans while simmering at the end. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and bringing back such beautiful memories as I have of my grandmother.

    • — Pixie on April 12, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is a family favorite! It is excellent!

    • — Jennifer Goodwin on February 3, 2020
    • Reply
    • I just made it for the first time. I added some chilli pepper to give it a little kick but OMG it so gooooooood! Thank you for the recipe♥️

      • — Shane Bleier on April 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hi, Jen – I just made this last night and I loved it. I added a can of diced tomatoes and cut back on the water to 1 cup. I would like to make this for our Christmas Eve dinner. But, I have an issue. The lamb I was able to buy ended up being quite strong in taste – too strong (I’m thinking it must be Australian,) and I also wasn’t thrilled with the variations in the size of the cubes. So, I have a question for you: how do you think this recipe would work with veal? (I think it would be fantastic.) Would you make any adjustments? Is it okay to cook the veal until it has a crust on it? Thanks so much, Jen.

    • — Laura on December 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Laura, The most reliable substitute for lamb would be beef. I haven’t tested this with veal, but if you can find veal chuck, theoretically, it should work without any changes. I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 20, 2019
      • Reply
  • Can I make this in a crockpot? If so, how would I alter the recipe?

    • — Catherine on November 26, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Catherine, This could be done in a slow cooker — You’ll still need to go through all the initial steps like searing the meat on the stovetop, so not sure it’s worth it. If you choose to use a slow cooker, here are some tips that may help you to adapt the recipe.

      • — Jenn on November 27, 2019
      • Reply
    • Thank you! I tried the recipe and it was wonderful! Everyone loved it.

      • — Catherine on December 2, 2019
      • Reply
  • This recipe is fab! I made the stew again but with beef, no garlic and 2 onions instead of one as my partner hates garlic and we thought it was better than the lamb stew but that’s our opinion.

    • — JUDE on September 3, 2019
    • Reply
  • Hello! I can’t wait to try out this recipe; I’ve tried the Beef one with awesome results 🙂

    May I ask, may I add a little bit of canned tomatoes to this? Just to get that extra acidity… I understand this recipe is perfect as it is, but if you could add anything at all to it, what would you add?

    • — Ann on August 22, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Ann, I think a bit of canned tomatoes would work nicely here. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2019
      • Reply
  • We made the Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables tonight and we were super impressed with this recipe. We added celery and corn and it was delicious, so much so my husband suggested I write a review! I live in Australia and in our local supermarket I found it hard to get the right lamb portion so I bought a rolled lamb shoulder boneless roast and pulled it apart, cut off all the fat and chopped up the meat – it was so tender! Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

    • — Anita on June 22, 2019
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe several times now and it’s amazing! It is a family favorite and one I make often. The flavors are on point. It is delicious, hearty, very filling and perfect for chilly days. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

    • — Krista Tracy on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • I’m simmering the stew as I write this and it smells sooo good! I had lamb chops in the freezer and decided to use those (bones added for flavor) rather than buying more lamb. It was easy to put together with pantry ingredients. Can’t wait to eat it! Happy St Patty’s Day!

    • — Sherry on March 17, 2019
    • Reply
    • What are the quantities of ingredients??

      • — Curtis Gaulke on May 29, 2019
      • Reply
      • Hi Curtis, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an icon that looks like a notepad – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

        • — Jenn on May 29, 2019
        • Reply
  • Love this recipe it’s soooo delicious !!!

    • — JoJo on February 21, 2019
    • Reply
  • I used beef instead of lamb to make this stew. The beef came out so tender! My family loved it, not a drop left. I’ll definitely make this recipe again, and it’ll be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Wonderful lamb stew! The lamb was so tender, almost melted in your mouth! Everyone raved about it. I did use 1/2 cup of flour instead of 1/4 cup as some others suggested and consistency was perfect. I also added some cooked barley with the peas at the end. We absolutely loved this stew!

  • Just made this for my husband’s birthday. It was absolutely delicious. The lamb was so tender. I will say I did cut off quite a lot of fat from the lamb shoulder, which left under 2 lbs. meat. Definitely enough, though. I also did not add the sugar. Plenty thick for us, but I had made it in the morning and reheated it later. This is a keeper.

    • — Bernadette Hanson
    • Reply
  • Awesome flavor! I did use leg of lamb meat and it does cook as tender as the cuts mentioned in the recipe.

  • Great flavor. Did not get thick enough for our tastes, ended up adding some cornstarch to thicken. Next time will use less liquids and see if that helps. Love all the variety of your recipes though.

  • I have made this stew several times over the course of the past year when I originally found this recipe. My husband told me he didn’t like lamb, but I decided to make it because I said he probably never had it prepared correctly. I was right! He absolutely LOVES this stew, as does our daughter. I made a few changes though. I added 1/2 cup of flour instead of 1/4 cup, I used John Smith’s Imperial Stout, I added a little more salt, I added 1-1/2 teaspoons of roasted garlic powder to the meat before I browned it, and I ALWAYS add twice as much smashed garlic, as we are all garlic fans! Today I decided to also use a teaspoon of thyme to the meat before browning it and it turned out absolutely fabulous! I usually serve this over homemade mashed potatoes. I once replaced the lamb for beef and it wasn’t as good. The lamb is definitely the best! Preparing this makes the house and the outside of it smell wonderful 🙂 thank you for this recipe! Absolutely delicious 🙂

  • This recipe is superb. All 3 of my kids eat this, they used to ignore soupy meat that I cooked. They prefer fried as usual. The big kids become curious how did I make this one. I am a big fan now, your recipes are easy and always a big hit at home, I have become a good chef mom now. I used to be non cooking working mom.

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