How to Make a Traditional Irish Stew

Irish Stew

My maternal grandmother taught me how to cook. She was the one who woke my interest in food and in taking the time to prepare a meal properly with attention paid to details.

She looked after me while my mother was at work and as the neighbourhood where I spent my first years had few children I spent a lot of time with her. Being with grandma or nanny meant spending time in the kitchen

She was born Eliza Jane Drury and while she was born in Canada she always honoured her Irish roots.

Saint Patrick's Day was celebrated each year around home and Irish stew was often the main meal on that day. The tradition continued for many years after my nanny passed on.

I still make a version today but as lamb where I live is both hard to find and costly I usually use beef. The recipe below is a lamb stew and is very close to the recipe my grandmother used. She never wrote it down but I watched and helped her make it on a number of occasions.

Traditional Irish Stew:


1- 500 g boneless lean lamb leg steaks, trimmed of visible fat and each steak cut into 4 pieces
2- 1 kg potatoes, peeled, sliced thick

3- 1 large onion, sliced
4- 500 g carrots, thickly sliced

5- 1 tablespoons chopped parsley (for garnish)
6- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives
7- 1 3⁄4 cups vegetable stock

8- ground black pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC).
  2. In a large casserole dish, make layers of the lamb, potatoes, onion and carrots, sprinkling each layer with parsley, chives and pepper.
  3. Finish with a layer of potatoes, and then pour over the stock.
  4. Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven to cook for about 2 hours or until both the meat and vegetables feel tender when tested with a skewer.
  5. Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF (200ºC).
  6. Remove the casserole lid and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the potatoes on top are golden-brown and crisp.
  7. Garnish and serve.

The aroma from this dish will help set the mood for celebrating Saint Patrick’s day with family and friends. This year I plan to make a special effort to find lamb so that I can make this dish to celebrate both Saint Patrick’s Day and my grandmother who taught me so much.

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Comments 22 comments

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Roll on St Paddy's so I have an excuse to try this one out! It looks totally scrumptious. Thanks for it. Bookmarked!

Love and peace


Hmrjmr1 profile image

Hmrjmr1 6 years ago from Georgia, USA

A Grand Tradition Bob!!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

It is very tasty, thank you both for dropping by.

Princessa profile image

Princessa 6 years ago from France

It sounds delicious, I like a stew but nothing compares to a granny's traditional Irish stew... my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Would a pint of Guinnes be a better drink to go with it than a glass of wine?

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA

I love Irish Stew - I have own hub dedicated to it - I tend to add Guinness too - adds an amazing boldness. I agree about the aroma - when I start cooking this you can see people for miles suddenly turn and knock on my door! Not quite - but my kids cancel work so they can eat the stew!

daisyjae profile image

daisyjae 6 years ago from Canada

Sounds yummy, I will be trying this one.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

That sounds great and it won't be long that it will be done in my kitchen. Thank you

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome and enjoy, thanks for dropping by.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Guinness would be more traditonal than wine, thank you all for dropping by.

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

Aw BOB, you've got this Irish Girl Hungry...but don't ferget the soda bread, we always have it with to soak... We make it all the time it's sorta what Americans call bisquits. Thanks Bob, this is a grand thing to share. May the wind be at yer back... Peace :)Katie

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Ah yes soda bread, most important. thanks for dropping by.

premierkj profile image

premierkj 6 years ago from Republic of Ireland

Fair Play Mr. Ewing. I have just this minute finished a large bowl of my mother's stew here in Tipperary. I can't say I know how to make it but isn't knowing how to eat it good enough. God Bless.

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Its a long way to Tipperary, ok now I have to find some lamb. Thanks for dropping by.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

That sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Nothing could sound better and have it with some home baked bread!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

You are welcome, homemade bread, yes. Thank you both for dropping by.

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Bob, thanks very much for this. I have just started to learn how to cook and after learning to make bread, yogurt and a mean sauce for spaghetti, I am now graduading to more adventurous recepies and yours is next on the list. Thanks again :-))

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Enjoy, cooking is a great adventure, thanks for dropping by.

Wealthmadehealthy profile image

Wealthmadehealthy 6 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

Ah a lamb stew....this hub brought back memories of my grandparents lived up east and were of Irish decent also....She would prepare a wonderful "rack" of lamb and serve it with mint jelly is the most wonderful thing to add to a dish of lamb....fond memories reading this hub....excellent recipe! Soon to be tried in my home as well!!

Thanks for writing it for us!!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

I too had fond memeories while writing this hub, thanks for dropping by.

TnFlash profile image

TnFlash 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

Great sounding recipe! I'll be trying it soon!

Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick Author

Enjoy, thanks for dropping by.

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