Chef John's Irish Stew Recipe -
Chef John's Irish Stew  Recipe
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How to Make Irish Stew
This simple lamb stew is too good to eat just once a year. See more
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Chef John's Irish Stew

Recipe by  

"Pay attention to the cut of lamb used in this recipe. I used lamb shoulder chops, which are a fantastic value, when you consider flavor, useable meat, and price. They will probably be the cheapest lamb at the store, have more flavor and richness than leg meat, and are cheaper than shanks and loins. It takes a while for the meat to braise and fall off the bone, but it's a wait rewarded with tender, succulent chucks of lamb."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    20 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs 25 mins

    2 hrs 45 mins


  1. Season lamb shoulder chops with salt and black pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb shoulder chops until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chops to a stock pot.
  3. Cook and stir onion with a pinch of salt in the same skillet over medium heat until slightly softened and edges are browning, about 5 minutes. Stir butter into onion until melted; add flour and stir until onions are coated, about 1 minute.
  4. Pour stock into onion mixture; bring to a boil, add rosemary, and stir until mixture thickens, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir carrots and celery into pot with lamb shoulder chops and pour chicken stock mixture over the top. Add water as needed to cover meat completely. Bring mixture to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and cook until meat is almost falling off the bone, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Transfer meat to a plate. Stir potatoes into stew and return meat to stew, placing on top of vegetables. Simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender and meat is falling off the bone, about 30 minutes.
  7. Transfer meat to a plate using a slotted spoon. Bring stew to a boil and cook, skimming off fat, until stew is reduced and thick, 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Remove meat from bones; discard bones and any pieces of fat. Stir meat back into stew. Stir green onions into stew and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute 1 bottle dark beer plus 1 1/2 cups chicken stock for the chicken stock.

Reviews More Reviews

Jan 15, 2015

This was the first time I made Chef John's Irish Stew. I followed the recipe exactly. I thought it was really good, but wanted a friend of mine, who is a very good cook to have some and tell me what she thought. She said it was excellent and will be making it herself. I will surely be making this again ! Thanks Chef John

Mar 20, 2014

Another hit for a Chef John recipe! I LOVE lamb. I also buy the shoulder chops often because of their price. I do, however, buy leg, breast, racks (OMG yummm) and ground. It is probably my favorite meat ever. I also love Irish stew. This recipe is perfection! As you will probably notice, I had to substitute frozen vegetables for soup in this dish today as I didn't have any carrots. I actually found the variety of vegetables delicious. I do, however, feel like the way Chef John wrote it is the way to go. I just didn't feel like going to the grocery store just for carrots! So I improvised with what I did have on hand :-) I also made the colcannon from AR and OMG, you couldn't ask for a better meal! Give this recipe a try. I know you are going to enjoy it as much as I am (I'm eating it as I'm writing this! )Thanks Chef John :-)


22 Ratings

Dec 29, 2014

Been following Chef John/foodwishes(dot)com for YEARS, this stew is a staple in my home, we have it once a week in the cooler months. I'm making it for a date tonight, it's THAT GOOD and impossible to mess up. Another great thing about this recipe is that you can make it early, leave simmering for awhile if you're not sure what time you're going to eat. Perfect the way it is, but here's another version: follow recipe exactly, only without the potatoes at first. Then follow Chef John's mashed potatoes recipe, once both are finished, ladle the stew over the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with a few extra green onions for garnish. Freezer Tips: I make it all the way, put the stew and the mashed potatoes in separate ziplok bags, freeze, then take to a cabin in the mountains to enjoy with a glass of red wine in front of the fire. Perfect, because all you have to do is reheat and enjoy! Highly suggest visiting his website as well-entertaining and informative; inspired my love for cooking.

Nov 03, 2014

Made this with pork stew meat. (Lamb wasn't available at the time). I made it in a crockpot, cooking it for about 6 hours. It turned out fantastic!

Apr 03, 2015

Absolutely delicious.. Couldn't have been happier with the way it turned out. I all-way like to made the recipe once as written, the way the chef did it. But I love it wend someone do the recipe with alterations, I too can't leave anything alone! I have to play with my food. You did adjusted it to your personal taste that what I like, to see what others have did to any improvements and/or variations you make to this simple recipe. I use 3 pounds lamb shoulder chops a little extra garlic but otherwise made as-is. I did read one review that gave this recipe a lower rating because it contained alcohol, You can substitute 1-1/2 cups chicken stock. YES I DO SEE this is on the radar too. Going to be tough to top this one though. I did adjusted to my personal taste. Your way is very delicious. The next time I did it and I add it to my recipe box and to My Note: My family loved bouth ways, and I'll be making this a lot more. Both are delicious, it's a matter of what your taste is....I now have two ways to this. YOU HAVE SUCCESS!! with me. Now I can do my happy food dance!! Thank you!!! Happy Cooking to you and y'all! Grpa

Dec 09, 2014

This was incredible! Made better by using local Ontario lamb.

Apr 14, 2014

I did not use Celery and chicken broth, I also leave the bone on as I like chewing bones.

Mar 17, 2015

Well, as it were Saint Paddy's day today, I thought I'd give this recipe a wee bit of a go. Honestly, I'd rate it 5 stars for the smell it gives off in the house alone. My husband kept saying "Sure smells good," and I think we were all drooling heavily by the time the first 1 1/2 hours was up! I made it exactly as written and had the Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread to go with. Unfortunately I added too much water, so it was a bit like a chunky soup, but still incredibly flavourful and the lamb was amazing! My husband said "this is good," three times! Thanks, Chef John! Now I'm going to curl up with a small glass of Irish whiskey and watch my kids clean the kitchen! Happy St. Patrick's Day!


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  • Calories
  • 508 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 28.6 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 120 mg
  • 40%
  • Fat
  • 29.1 g
  • 45%
  • Fiber
  • 4.1 g
  • 17%
  • Protein
  • 32.1 g
  • 64%
  • Sodium
  • 530 mg
  • 21%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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