Drunken Irish Stew

I LOVE to cook and bake with beer.

If there is a 6 pack of beer or even hard cider I can't help but stealing a bottle or two just to make something yummy for dinner.

What better excuse to cook with some good Irish Ale than St. Patrick's Day?!?!?!

My whopping 1/16th Irish side  is starting to show it's green!

I look forward to two things each year on St. Patrick's Day.

One... I buy a six pack of Magners Cider. Holy Cow do I love that stuff but it's a wee bit expensive and I only know of one store in the area that carries it.

Two.... Dinner. I love love love LOVE, Irish cooking. Now I know our American view of Irish meals tends to start and stop at corned beef and cabbage. Every year I like to change it up a bit and do something new.

This year. Lamb Stew.

But better yet.... Lamb Stew with a whole lotta beer in it!

Drunken Irish Stew

2 lbs of Lamb or beef stew meat
2 bottles of your favorite Irish Ale (I used Smithwicks... but you can even do Guinness if you'd like)
6-8 cups of stock (I used beef)
3 large carrots peeled and chopped ( Used rainbow carrots, orange, yellow, and PURPLE!)
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 lb of baby red skin potatoes halved (if they are super tiny leave them whole)
1 large yellow onion diced
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 herb bouquet
1/2 lb of bacon chopped
3/4 a cup of Barley (I had quick cooking) 
2 tbs of tomato paste
1 ham hock (optional) 
1/2 cup of flour


In a Dutch Oven fry your bacon pieces until crispy.

Remove from pan and lay on a paper towel to cool and drain.

Pat your stew meat dry with paper towels. Then dredge through your flour.

Toss into you Dutch Oven with the left over bacon grease.

Fry meat on medium heat until it has browned and is lightly crisp on the outside.

Remove meat from the pan.

Toss all of your vegetables into the dutch oven, saute in drippings until the onions are starting to caramelize (about 15 minutes).

Add 1 bottle off your ale into the pan, stir with a wooden spoon to get all of the little bits of the bottom of the pan.

Add your meat and bacon back into the dutch oven.

Pour second bottle of ale and 4 cups of your stock into the pan.

Add in ham hock, minced garlic, tomato paste, and herbs.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer for 3-4 hours. Stir every half hour or so. You can add the additional stock if it thickens too much while cooking.

About 20 minutes before serving add in your barley.

Remove ham hock and herb bouquet. Serve with freshly snipped herbs on top. (I had a bit of dill and chive).

How Irish are you?
How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?


  1. Oh yum, I love a good beef stew, especially with beer or guiness, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

  2. Is the stew meat cooked before going into the slow cooker?

  3. You brown it first. My method of cooking was one on the stove top and not in a slow cooker. So If you are using another method to cook make sure to adjust your cooking times as the slow cookers will take much longer than my method.

  4. Yum - this looks hearty and yummy! Perfect for St Pattys!

  5. My hubby and I love making Irish Stew on St. Patrick's Day, so delicious! You just kicked it up a nothch, OH MY YUM!!! Hugs, Terra

  6. Oh my goodness! I'm making this right now and it looks and smells so good! Don't have a Dutch oven, but I'm using the biggest cast iron I have and it is working beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. :)

  7. Making this now and can't wait to taste the results!

  8. What is a dutch oven? Also, I love this page!!!!

    1. Dutch oven is a heavy bottomed cast iron pot/casserole that can go between the oven and stove top. Lots of times they are covered in enamel.

  9. PLEASE share what the herb bouquet contains??

    1. SURE. It's rosemary, dill, sage, bay, thyme.... any fresh herb you have on hand tied into a bouquet.

    2. can you just use a mixture of these herbs dry if you don't have them on hand fresh? Looks delicious, by the way.

  10. Cooking this now, and I must say it smells amazing. I didnt have bacon, but I do have bacon grease, so I did everything in the grease and omitted the bacon. I also used guinness and again, the smell is incredible. I dont have a herb bouquet, and I cant wait to try that next time, but from the flavors that are there already I am impressed. I also omitted the ham hock in favor of lamb neck bones. 2 lbs of meat and you get all the flavor from the bones as well!!

  11. You put a recipe on post and do not make it "PRINTER FRIENDLY"??????? STUPID!!!!!! i LIKE STEWS BUT THEN A DISAPPOINTMENT can not print it !!!!!!!! Only to print all the crap with it!!!!

    1. This is a free website that I created so I can share the recipes I develop in my kitchen. Most of my readers understand how to print from the web (copy/paste into a doc) or they are using a mobile device or laptop that goes in the kitchen with them. I'm SO sorry I don't have a print button... I am one person team running this blog (while raising 3 kids and working).... so it's not perfect.

      What is stupid is people like you who get so worked up over the silliest things and freak out at complete strangers over a PRINT button. Chill lady.

    2. lol..well said Carrie

    3. I'm excited to make this tomorrow! Just for fun I timed myself...it took 22 whopping seconds to cut, paste, and format the recipe in Word, then click 'print.' I can't believe how rude and incompetent Marie's comment is. I admire that you work, have three kids, and run a cooking blog:) Keep up the awesome work!

    4. Thank you so much for sharing... Ignore the ungrateful people.. Wow.. What is this world coming to..

  12. Can't wait to try this, it looks delicious. I got it to print with no trouble at all. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to share this.

  13. Wow... it does look delicious, so yummy i had to try it!
    I used Guinness, and so far its a little bitter? I will see how it is the next day, as i planned to leave the flavors develop overnight anyway.
    Thanks for this great yet simple recipe~