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Slow Cooker Irish Stew. How to make a delicious traditional Irish lamb stew in the slow cooker. Loaded with lamb neck fillet, Guinness, potatoes, and vegetables.
You will love this classic irish stew, or you might call it a lamb casserole. Not only is it one of the simplest slow cooker lamb stews, but it is full of flavour, is gluten free and perfect for cold winter days. Or serve it up on St Paddy’s Day as a new Irish tradition in your house.
Originally shared in 2018 we have transformed this irish stew to the slow cooker from the instant pot.
Slow Cooker Irish Stew
Did I ever tell you that my maternal grandma was Irish? She used to tell me stories about her early years living in Ireland before moving to England when she was still a child.
I used to ask her to tell me more as Ireland just sounded so interesting.
Well, she married a guy from Yorkshire (my grandad), they had five daughters and they lived happily ever after.
One way that my grandad was always trying to impress my grandma was with his cooking and he had mastered an amazing irish stew. He would always cook it with Guinness, it was always hearty, and filling and it was always loaded with leftover lamb neck fillets that he had got on a deal from the butchers.
Even when he had too much of the Guinness and salted it twice, I would still enjoy every last mouthful and look forward to the next time.
Today, I wanted to share with you, how you too can make a proper traditional Irish stew in the slow cooker.
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Can You Put Raw Lamb In A Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can put raw lamb in a slow cooker. Just like with any slow cooker meat, you can dump it in with the other ingredients, mix it and then you have slow cooker stew.
But you have a better Irish lamb stew slow cooker recipe, if you brown your meat first.
Do You Have To Brown Lamb Before Slow Cooking?
No, its not essential to brown your lamb before slow cooking, but I do recommend you do it.
This is because it adds extra flavour to the lamb and lamb also carries a lot of extra fat, so you can then drain the lamb fat, before you slow cook your Irish stew.
For example, this is the liquid we created after browning our lamb neck.
How Do I Make Lamb Stew Meat Tender?
You slow cook your lamb. Lamb is perfect for stews and casseroles and by dumping your lamb and cooking it for 4 hours in the slow cooker produces the best results.
If you want your lamb to fall off the fork as you tuck in, then you can increase the cook time to 5 hours to achieve this.
What Is Traditional Irish Stew?
Traditional irish stew is cooked in the slow cooker and is loaded with lamb neck fillets that have been diced, carrots, potatoes, celery, tomato puree and a full can of Guinness.
You will find many Irish stews that are not traditional because they don’t use Guinness, or they substitute lamb for beef.
Irish stew is often referred to as a lamb and Guinness stew or as a lamb neck stew.
How Do You Make Irish Stew Better?
One ingredient that I often see in a slow cooker irish lamb stew is flour to thicken up the stew.
I recommend NOT using flour and instead to drain your lamb stew after you have finished slow cooking.
Then reserve half of the liquid as lamb stock for future recipes and then place the other half back in.
Then add a big spoonful of mashed potatoes and stir it in.
You will then have a yummy gluten free Irish stew without it feeling heavy and grainy from the flour.
Guinness Irish Stew
One ingredient that is not familiar to many, when making a traditional irish stew is Guinness.
Well, what the Guinness does is replace part of the stock. Don’t expect a stew that all you can taste is ale, because that is not the case.
I do recommend pouring your Guinness into a glass an hour before cooking. It will reduce the head on it and make it easier for cooking with.
Though because we don’t drink much, we don’t have any pint glasses, so used two smaller ones.
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Irish Stew Slow Cooker Ingredients
Lamb – I recommend you use lamb neck fillets that have been diced ready for a stew, or you slice them up yourself.
Guinness – What makes an Irish stew stand out from the crowd, is the addition of Guinness. Once you try a Guinness stew in the slow cooker there is no going back. You will only need 1 can for 1 big hearty stew.
Stock – I make big batches of stock in the instant pot, freeze it, and then use it in my slow cooker meals. You can load frozen stock cubes into the slow cooker too. If you don’t have lamb stock you can sub it for chicken or vegetable. Then for extra stock I also add in some tinned tomatoes. Avoid water if you can, as it will make your stew taste like dishwasher water.
Veggies – Go traditional and add potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion. Or mix it up and add some swede or parsnips.
Seasoning – when making irish stew in slow cooker I recommend for seasonings salt, pepper, rosemary, chives, and thyme.
Then for the kitchen gadgets that we have used in this Irish lamb stew slow cooker recipe it has just been our Crockpot Slow Cooker. We have this one and its wonderful for many types of stews and casseroles.
Plus, we recommend you head over to our slow cooker recipes category as we have more than 90 tried and tested slow cooker recipes and have been using slow cookers for 18 years.
How To Make Irish Lamb Stew In Slow Cooker?
- Brown. Chop up your lamb neck fillets, if it not cubed already and then brown your lamb in the slow cooker with a little extra virgin olive oil. Then drain any excess fat. Remove the lamb and put to one side.
- Load. Then load up your slow cooker with your prepped vegetables and saute with some extra virgin olive oil.
- Dump. Take the slow cooker off the heat, add everything else, give it a good stir, and add your stock cube on top. Slow cook for four hours.
- Serve. Then when it is done, drain half the liquid, stir in a heaped tablespoon of mashed potatoes and then serve with mash.
And I am sure you can see now how easy it is to make an irish lamb stew in the slow cooker and why it’s a favourite of mine.
Irish Stew Recipe Slow Cooker Tips & Tricks
- I recommend that you brown your lamb first and then drain the fat. It will stop your lamb stew from being overly fatty and great for if you want a healthy irish stew.
- Use frozen veggie stock as it’s a life saver and makes your lamb stew more flavoursome. I recommend using our instant pot vegetable stock for this.
- Its best served with creamy mashed potatoes. Keep it Irish by using our instant pot irish mashed potatoes.
Interesting Slow Cooker Trick – Always buy a slow cooker like this Crockpot one that we own. It can go on the stovetop to brown meat and go in the oven.
Can you make ahead your irish stew recipe? Yes, you can. I often do this to save on time. You can also reheat your Irish stew in the slow cooker by cooking it on low for an hour.
Can you freeze irish stew? Yes, you sure can. Simply load into freezer containers and allow to cool before sealing the lid.
More Slow Cooker Stew Recipes
- Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew
- Slow Cooker Scottish Stew
- Slow Cooker Corned Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Lamb Stew & Dumplings
All the above are amazing slow cooker recipes. Though if I could choose just one, the slow cooker vegetable stew is hands down the absolute BEST.
Your Irish lamb stew slow cooker recipe is below, note you can print it out with or without photos, adjust servings, or click between metric and imperial depending on where you are in the world.
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Slow Cooker Irish Stew With Guinness
- An hour before starting pour your Guinness into a glass to allow it to flatten a little.
- Load your lamb into the slow cooker, add extra virgin olive oil and brown on all sides.
- Drain the excess fat and then put the lamb to one side.
- Prep your veggies. Peel, dice and clean your onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes.
- Load the onion, carrots, and celery into the slow cooker and sauté for a couple of minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Use some extra oil if you feel like your slow cooker needs it.
- Mix in some tomato puree. Pour in and mix Guinness.
- Add in everything else (apart from the stock) and stir. Then position a frozen stock cube in the middle. Slow cook for 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low.
- Drain half the liquid and put to one side for future lamb stock. Then stir in a heaped tablespoon of mashed potatoes. Then serve with mash.