Irish Stew For One! A delicious small batch Irish stew recipe made with tender lamb or beef, plenty of carrots and potatoes all simmering in a rich, beer based broth. Easy to make, hearty, and extra comforting.
There are few dishes that are heartier or more comforting than a good meaty stew. It’s a meal that will truly warm both body and soul. This traditional Irish stew features either tender beef or lamb and plenty of vegetables which cook in a broth made with a good stout beer and plenty of seasonings.
Although we often think about making Irish stew on Irish holidays like St. Patrick’s Day, a homemade stew is a meal to enjoy all throughout the year.
This single serving Irish stew recipe yields one big bowl of hearty and absolutely delicious stew. You may even have enough for two servings if you serve it with a side dish.
What Is Irish Stew?
Irish stew is a stew native to Ireland but loved all over the world. It’s a very popular dish on St. Patrick’s Day but one that can and should be enjoyed any day of the year.
One of the main differences between Irish stew and beef stew is that Irish stew is traditionally made with lamb. Here in the United States, we eat more beef than lamb and if your preference is to use beef, please do. Beef stew will still be every bit as delicious.
When my husband and I were in Ireland recently, we found Irish stew with mashed potatoes on the menu in just about every restaurant and pub we dined in. We loved it every single time we ate it.
Ingredients In Irish Lamb Stew
See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and recipe instructions.
- canola oil
- salt and black pepper
- chopped onions
- tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- Guinness Beer
- dried thyme
- beef broth
See below for ways to use up leftover ingredients.
- In this recipe, I use 5-ounces of lamb cut into 1-inch cubes.
- I use 6-ounces of cubed potatoes in this Irish stew recipe. This equals about 2 small red potatoes or 1 small baking potato.
- You can use chicken broth instead of beef broth if necessary.
- If you don’t have Guinness, use another good dark stout instead. If you don’t want to use alcohol, use a good beef broth and a dash or two of extra Worcestershire sauce instead.
How To Make Irish Stew
To make a small batch of Irish stew, I use a 2-quart saucepan.
- Start by seasoning the stew meat with salt and pepper and adding it to the pan to brown. After browning the meat on all sides, transfer the meat to a plate and cover to use later.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and cook the onions, celery and garlic. After the vegetables become tender, stir in tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.
Pro Tips: Look for tomato paste that comes in a tube. You can find it in the same section of your grocery store that cans are found. A tube stays good in the refrigerator for much longer than canned. To store any that you might have leftover, freeze the leftover paste in ice cube trays. When frozen, pop the cubes out of the tray and store in a zip-top bag in the freezer.
- Stir flour into the vegetables and cook, stirring for about a minute. Pour in the beer and dried thyme and stir until the beer has reduced and thickens slightly. As you might imagine, the aroma coming from your kitchen will be incredible.
- Add the broth and return the meat to the pan. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes. The slow cooking of the meat will yield a wonderfully tender, almost melt-in-your-mouth meat.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the stew. Cover the pot again and continue cooking for another 25 minutes. When done, the meat should be tender and the potatoes cooked through. If not, cover and continue cooking in 10 minute increments until cooked.
- When the stew has finished cooking, spoon off and discard any grease from the top and enjoy!
Tips For Making The Best Irish Stew
- Brown the lamb, or if you’re making Irish beef stew – the beef. It’s essential so please don’t skip this step. Take the time to sear the meat, every single piece of it.
- Don’t toss the browned bits at the bottom of the pan after you’ve removed the meat. Those are like crispy gold – it’s where much of the flavor is. Leave it and deglaze the pan when you add the Guinness.
- Follow the steps in this recipe as written. It might be tempting to throw all of the vegetables in together to cook but don’t. The potatoes and carrots will fall apart. Although you want them to be fairly soft, you don’t want them to be mushy.
- Taste before serving and feel free to add additional salt to suit your taste.
What To Serve With Irish Stew
For dessert, you might like to consider using a little of any leftover Guinness in a delightful Guinness float.
How To Store Stew
Beef or lamb stew will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 days, and can be frozen for up to 2 months. Freeze the stew in an airtight container then thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
I use a 2-quart saucepan in this Irish stew recipe, for best results use a pot of similar size.
For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.
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Irish Stew Recipe
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil , divided
- 5 ounces lamb , cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt , divided
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed black pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1 celery stalk , chopped
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Guinness beer
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 small red potatoes , scrubbed and cubed (6 ounces)
- 1 carrot , peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Season lamb with the salt and pepper and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the lamb from the pot and place on a plate.
- Add 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil to the pot and stir in the chopped onions and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables. Stir until the there is no visible flour and the vegetables look slightly mushy from the flour coating, 1 minute.
- Pour in the beer and dried thyme. Stir until the beer has reduced and has slightly thickened.
- Add the broth and return the lamb to the pot. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally. Make sure the stew stays at a very low simmer.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the stew. Cover the pot again and continue cooking on low heat for another 25 minutes. When done, the meat should be tender and flake apart easily and the potatoes cooked through. If not, cover the pot again and cook in additional 10 minute increments until cooked.
- Pour into a bowl and enjoy hot.