Irish Stew With Carrots & Turnips

Irish stew is native to Ireland and considered their national dish. There are numerous variations of the stew. Many households use beef for the protein, as well as potatoes, leeks, or cabbage. But, traditional Irish stew is made with lamb and root vegetables.

In the Irish language the stew is called stobhach gaelach.  Once a necessity during the early 19th century’s economic turmoil, the attainable ingredients allowed impoverished families to survive on the stew. Today it’s thought of as a comfort food.

With its hearty fixin’s, Irish stew is the perfect dish to cook during chilly months. Here is the recipe. Enjoy!


● 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

● 4 1/2 pounds of lamb shoulder chops, 1” – 1 1/2” thick

● Salt + pepper

● 3 large onions, chopped

● 4 Tablespoons All-purpose flour

● 3 cups water

● 1 teaspoon dried thyme

● 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4” pieces

● 1 purple top turnip, peeled, stem end cut off. Cut turnip into 1” cubes

● 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley

Recipe & Preparation:

1) In a Dutch oven put 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Turn to medium-high heat. Keep an eye on it. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, it is worthwhile to purchase one. I love mine and use it a lot for cooking soups, sauces, stews, browning chicken, etc. Here is a good one you’ll use for many years:

2) Cut lamb shoulder chops into 1 1/2” chunks. Season the meat with salt and pepper.

3) Cook the lamb in the Dutch oven in 2 batches. Cook the first side of meat about 2 minutes, until it begins to brown. Turn the pieces over and cook for about another 5 minutes.

4) After the lamb pieces are cooked, take them out and put aside on a plate.

5) Add another 1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil into the Dutch oven. When heated, add the second batch of lamb and cook the same way. Take out and set aside with first batch.

Onions for Irish stew
Photo credit:

6) Add another 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil into the Dutch oven. Set the heat to medium. Add the onions. Scrape the brown bits off the pan with a spoon as the onions are cooking.

7) Add 1/4 tsp. salt. You’ll see caramelization. Cook until onions are browned well, about 8 minutes.

8) Add 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour for a thickener. Stir in with the onions for 2 minutes.

9) Add 1 1/2 cups of water and continue to scrape up brown bits. Then add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water.

10) Add 1 tsp. dried thyme and 1 tsp. salt. Let it come to a simmer.

11) Add the meat back into the Dutch oven. Bring it back to a simmer. Then put the lid on and place the Dutch oven into a 300 degree oven for 1 hour.

Carrots for Irish Stew
Photo credit: Hana Mara

12) Remove the Dutch oven after 1 hour. Add the carrots and turnip into the stew on top.

13) Put the Dutch oven back into a 300 degree oven and cook for another 1 hour.

14) Take it out of the oven. Stir the cooked carrots and turnip down into the stew. Let it sit uncovered for 5 minutes.

Photo credit: Karoline Grabowska

15) Add 1/4 cup fresh parsley. Stir. Taste for seasoning. Serve.

This stew pairs perfectly with Irish brown soda bread.

Related Posts:

Irish Brown Soda Bread


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