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Irish Stew For One

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.

A bowl of irish stew filled with lamb and potatoes next to three carrots.

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.

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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.

A piece of cooked lamb on a spoon in a bowl of stew next to three carrots

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.

Enjoying two bowls of irish stew in a pub in dublin with a glass of Guinness.

Ingredients In Irish Lamb Stew

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and recipe instructions.

  • canola oil
  • lamb
  • salt and black pepper
  • chopped onions
  • celery
  • tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • flour
  • Guinness Beer
  • dried thyme
  • beef broth
  • potatoes
  • carrots

See below for ways to use up leftover ingredients.

Recipe Tips:

  • 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.
A bowl of irish stew with a can of guinness stout, carrots, and celery in the background.

What To Serve With Irish Stew

Serve Irish Stew with potatoes or rice. A mini Irish soda bread also goes great with a big bowl of 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.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

irish stew for one | one dish kitchen

Irish Stew For One

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish
Keywords: beef, lamb, stew
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 818kcal
Author: Joanie Zisk

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

What To Serve With Irish Stew

Serve Irish Stew with potatoes or rice. A mini Irish soda bread also goes great with a big bowl of stew.
For dessert, you might like to consider using a little of any leftover Guinness in a delightful Guinness float.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 818kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 55g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 103mg | Sodium: 1073mg | Potassium: 3367mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 10492IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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About The Author

21 thoughts on “Irish Stew For One”

  1. Is there a substitute you would recommend for the beer? I’m not a beer or wine drinker so very impracticable to buy a 6 pack or a bottle of wine for this recipe. Just me so no one else to drink it either. Would love to try this. It sounds so good! Thank you!

    1. Hi Jennie,
      If you don’t want to use alcohol, use a good beef broth and a dash or two of extra Worcestershire sauce instead.
      Enjoy!
      Joanie

      1. Joanie the recipe instructions say add garlic, bu5 it’s not listed in the ingredients so I just guessed 1 clove. Can you verify that please. Thanks.

      1. Hi Nadine,
        It really depends on the store you shop in. I am able to buy one can of beer at my local grocery in Houston (HEB) as well as in local wine and beer shops.

    2. Not sure about liquor stores near you, but a lot of the ones I go to, have single cans you can buy, so that might be an option you could go with

    1. Yes, Syble. If you don’t want to use alcohol, use a good beef broth and a dash or two of extra Worcestershire sauce instead.

      Joanie

  2. Hi Joanie, I believe the 1 day, 40 minutes total cook time is an oops. I wanted to let you know so you’re not bombarded by questions. I’m making this tonight as it looks delish!

  3. Hi,
    I would like to try this recipe could i just chuck everything in the slow cooker For when I get home from work ? Or not recommended thank you

    1. Hi Maria,
      I haven’t tested this recipe in a slow cooker but I believe it would work. For small batch and single serving recipes like this one, I recommend using a small 1.5-quart to 2-quart slow cooker. If you have time, I would also recommend searing the lamb or beef first before adding it to the slow cooker simply because it will give the meat more flavor. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours. If you make the stew in a slow cooker, please let me know how the recipe worked for you.

      Thank you.
      Joanie

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Joanie,
        Thank you for your reply
        I made this in the slow cooker seared the meat it worked out beautifully absolutely delishous I will be making again thank you so much.

      2. Maria,

        I’m so happy the recipe worked well in the slow cooker. Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know, this will be so helpful to our readers.

        Joanie

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