A classic hearty soup, this Irish Beef Stew uses ground beef to save time, but it packs a ton of flavor into every bowl! Cooks in about 30 minutes!
“Shortcut” Irish Stew
My Grandma’s parents immigrated from Ireland, so I am 1/4 Irish. One of my cousins actually moved to Ireland and has made it her permanent home. I’m hoping to be able to visit her someday and experience our family homeland in person!
In the meantime, I thought it could be fun to try some Irish-inspired recipes. St. Patrick’s Day is on the way, so the timing couldn’t be better!
I say “inspired” because I don’t want to assume that just because I am part Irish that I can make authentic Irish food. And this Irish Stew recipe uses a couple shortcuts to help you make it quickly.
An authentic Irish stew recipe can take 2 hours or more to get on the table. However, with a couple little swaps, this “cheater” Irish stew recipe cooks in about 30 minutes, with minimal prep time!
This Irish ground beef stew is also more budget-friendly, as ground beef is usually less expensive than beef stew meat, or lamb.
But I promise, even though you’ll save eon your grocery budget, this recipe does NOT skimp on flavor!
What is Irish Stew?
Known as “stobhach gaelach” in Gaelic, Irish Stew is a traditional dish made from mutton (or lamb) and root vegetables. Because sheep are raised throughout Ireland, lamb was the protein commonly used. However, beef has become a popular choice too.
Irish stew is a thick and hearty dish. The beef broth is thickened with a touch of flour, and by the potatoes themselves. The ingredients are simple and accessible, the but the flavor is complex.
Our “shortcut” for this recipe is to use ground beef instead of stew meat. This cuts down the cooking time a lot, but doesn’t sacrifice flavor! The broth itself is made with traditional ingredients, plus a Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce to add a hint of umami (that irresistible sweet/salty taste that makes food taste SO good!)
Like many traditional dishes that have been made for generations, there isn’t necessarily one “right” way to make it. Wikipedia explains it well: “As in all traditional folk dishes, the exact recipe is not consistent from time to time, or place to place.”
If you’re looking for an easy Irish-inspired recipe to serve on St. Patrick’s Day, or simple a bowl of tasty comfort food during the cold months, this dish is perfect for the task!
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- Potatoes — We used red potatoes
- Oil — for cooking, you can use your choice of oil
- Kosher salt & black pepper
- Ground Beef
- Diced Celery
- Diced Carrots
- Diced Onion
- Minced Garlic
- All-Purpose Flour or Cornstarch
- Fresh thyme
- Beef Broth
- Worcestershire Sauce
Kitchen Tools Used
Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Cut potatoes into 1 or 2-inch chunks and place on the prepared pan. Drizzle with a couple Tablespoons of olive oil, toss to coat, and then season with salt and pepper to your preference. Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through, as you prepare the stew.
- Add a Tablespoon of olive oil to your dutch oven or large stockpot over medium heat. When pan is hot, add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned (about 4 minutes).
- Add the diced onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Continue cooking for about 4 more minutes, until the onions are soft. Carefully scrape any meat/drippings of the bottom of the pot so that they flavor the veggies. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute, then stir in flour and thyme. Cook while stirring frequently for 2 minutes to allow the flour to coat the veggies and meat and brown slightly.
- Add the beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Turn up the burner to medium-high heat and bring the stew to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes until stew is thick and veggies are as tender as you’d like. Stir in the roasted potatoes before serving.
Makes 4 servings.
Season with salt & pepper to taste and top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
TIP: Serve with our easy beer bread for an extra-hearty meal!
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Thicken Irish Stew?
One of the great things about this recipe is that it is easy to make it to your liking. If you’d like the stew a bit thicker, you can simply cook at low heat for a few extra minutes with the lid off.
Another trick is to mash up a few of the potato pieces and stir them into the mixture. Potatoes make an excellent natural thickener, and you will sometimes see Irish stew recipes without flour at all, using only potatoes to thicken the broth.
Isn’t There Beer in Irish Stew?
There are quite a few recipes out there for Irish stew recipes that include stout, such as Guinness beer, in the mix. However, as far as I can tell, the original Irish stews do not include beer.
How Long Does Stew Last in the Fridge?
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. To extend its “shelf life” even further, you can freeze leftover stew. Simply transfer to freezer bags, after the stew is completely cooled.
More Irish Inspired Recipes
Irish Beef Stew Recipe (Printable Copy)
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Shortcut Irish Beef Stew
- Dutch Oven
- Baking sheet
- 1 lb Potatoes cut into 1-2" pieces
- 3 Tablespoons Oil as needed
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 2 Stalks Celery diced
- 2 Carrots peeled and diced
- 1 Onion diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons Flour or cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon Thyme
- 4 cups Beef Broth or more as desired
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Chop potatoes into 1-2" pieces and place on the prepared pan. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, toss to coat, and then season with salt and pepper to your preference.
- Roast the potatoes for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through, as you prepare the stew.
- Place remaining oil in a stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until ground beef is well-browned (about 4 minutes or so) then add the diced onions, carrots and celery to the pot. Continue cooking for about 4 more minutes, until the onions are soft.
- Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute, then stir in the flour and thyme. Stir well, cooking for a couple more minutes, so that the flour coats all the meat and vegetables.
- Pour in the beef broth and add Worcestershire sauce. Increase heat and bring the stew to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 more minutes, until stew thickens and vegetables become tender. Stir in roasted potatoes and season to taste.
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