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Best Irish Stew | Simple Cozy Winter Meal

This Irish Stew is a blend of tender beef, carrots, potatoes, and celery, all simmered to perfection in a rich savoury broth. Serve with fresh sourdough bread for the perfect cozy heartwarming meal on a cold winter.

warm and cozy dinner the best irish stew recipe

What is traditional Irish Stew made of?

The perfect warm comforting dish, traditional Irish Stew is simple, made with just mutton, onions and potatoes. Nowadays, the term “Irish Stew” generally conjures up a cozy mix of onion, potato, carrots, and beef, all gently simmered in a rich broth infused with the robust flavour of Guinness. You’ll find no Guinness in my version of this recipe though, as I’m not a fan of the beer flavour! But feel free to experiment and try adding some in. You might love it, many people do!

What type of meat is in Irish Stew?

Traditionally, Irish Stew is made with lamb or mutton but I always make it with beef instead. I prefer to use ground beef too, rather than the typical stewing cuts which can be a bit too tough for my taste. Ground beef is so much more tender and juicy! If you start with a package of ground beef that’s still pretty frozen, you can chop it into big pieces and they’ll keep their shape when you cook them. Alternatively, you can stick with stewing beef if you’d prefer, and follow the rest of the recipe as it is written.

close up of irish stew on table

Can you freeze Irish Stew?

Yes, you can freeze Irish Stew. In fact, stew often tastes even better after being frozen and then reheated, as the flavours have more time to meld together.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cool the Stew: Allow your stew to cool completely before freezing. This prevents the growth of bacteria and helps maintain the quality of the food.
  2. Portion the Stew: Divide the stew into portions. This way, you only need to defrost what you’re going to eat.
  3. Use Freezer-Safe Containers: Place the stew portions into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Leave some space at the top as the stew will expand when it freezes.
  4. Label and Date: Label the containers with the date you’re freezing the stew. It’s best used within three to four months.
  5. Freeze: Place the containers in the freezer.

When you’re ready to eat the stew:

  1. Thawing: Ideally, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the defrost setting on your microwave.
  2. Reheating: Once thawed, reheat the stew in a pot over the stove until it’s hot all the way through. You can also reheat it in the microwave. If the stew seems too thick, you can add a little bit of water or broth when reheating to get to your desired consistency.
  3. Remember, for safety and quality, only reheat the stew once after thawing it.

What to serve with Irish Stew?

My favourite way to enjoy cozy hearty Irish Stew is with a fresh slice of sourdough sandwich bread, topped with a dab of butter. You can make your own sourdough bread using my easy recipe linked here!

close up of bowl with side of fresh sourdough bread

Best Irish Stew Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-7 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1lb ground beef, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups broth (beef and/or vegetable)
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder 
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream (half & half, or whipping)

Instructions

Step 1:

Start by adding the diced onions into a large pot. Drizzle with olive oil and let them sizzle on medium heat for five minutes, stirring now and then to avoid any char.

Step 2:

When the onions have softened, pile in the chopped potatoes, sliced carrots, chopped celery, and the ground beef. Pour in enough broth to cover the ingredients—I’m partial to a blend of beef and vegetable broths, but go with whatever combination you fancy. Hold off on adding the cream, but go ahead and mix in the rest of your ingredients.

large pot filled with potatoes, carrots and celery, and chopped ground beef ready to add in
all ingredients added to large pot, ready to simmer

Step 3:

Bring up the heat to high until your stew reaches a rolling boil, then reduce to low. Let it simmer away for about 40 minutes, giving it a stir occasionally. You’ll know it’s ready when the veggies are tender and the beef is cooked through.

Step 4:

The final touch is a swirl of cream for that rich, comforting finish. Ladle your stew into bowls and enjoy it with a slice of fresh, crusty sourdough bread.

the best warm and cozy irish stew recipe perfect for a cold winter night, close up on table

Best Irish Stew

This Irish stew is a blend of tender beef, carrots, potatoes, and celery, all simmered to perfection in a rich savoury broth. Serve with fresh sourdough bread for the perfect cozy heartwarming meal on a cold winter.
Print Recipe
irish stew close up

Ingredients

  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6-7 potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 1 lb ground beef roughly chopped
  • 6 cups broth beef and/or vegetable
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cream half & half, or whipping

Instructions

  • Start by adding the diced onions into a large pot. Drizzle with olive oil and let them sizzle on medium heat for five minutes, stirring now and then to avoid any char.
  • When the onions have softened, pile in the chopped potatoes, sliced carrots, chopped celery, and the ground beef. Pour in enough broth to cover the ingredients—I’m partial to a blend of beef and vegetable broths, but go with whatever combination you fancy. Hold off on adding the cream, but go ahead and mix in the rest of your ingredients.
  • Turn up the heat to high until your stew reaches a rolling boil, then reduce to low. Let it simmer away for about 40 minutes, giving it a stir occasionally. You’ll know it’s ready when the veggies are tender and the beef is cooked through.
  • The final touch is a swirl of cream for that rich, comforting finish. Ladle your stew into bowls and enjoy it with a slice of fresh, crusty sourdough bread.

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If you try this recipe out, I’d love to see it. Tag me on instagram @gwenthemilkmaid.

More Cozy Winter Meal Ideas:

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