Easy Lamb Stew Recipe with fall-apart lamb and hearty vegetables slowly cooked in a delicious rustic broth. It’s everything you need on a cold day.
I am a huge fan of lamb! A luscious meat with a sweet, tender, juicy flavor. It’s often reserved for special occasions, but like beef stew in Instant Pot, this lamb stew recipe is a cold season staple in our house.
Easy to make in a Dutch oven, Instant Pot, or slow cooker, this warm bowl of melt-in-your mouth lamb stew is a classic comfort meal your entire family will enjoy.
What Lamb Is Best for Stewing?
Boneless leg of lamb or boneless lamb shoulder work best for stewing. You’ll want to remove the mesh, trim any fat and tough tissues before cutting the meat.
The lamb shoulder is the most tender part of the lamb, and both the shoulder and leg cuts have a lot of connective tissues and fat, making them perfect for slow cooking methods. The meat will turn out super tender, and juicy!
Other Ingredients and Notes
This recipe for lamb stew is full of wholesome, simple ingredients. The list may seem long, but after 10 minutes of prep, let it simmer for a delicious dish with layers of flavor.
- Boneless lamb shoulder: 2-3 pounds with excess fat trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces.
- Potatoes: Baby potatoes will keep their shape better and don’t need to be cut, keeping the prep time down. Yellow potatoes, red potatoes, and Yukon gold potatoes can also be used. Russet potatoes are good if you like more of a hearty stew.
- Other veggies: Carrots, celery, onion, and brown mushrooms add body to this nourishing meal.
- Oil and Garlic: Olive oil and minced garlic are used for sautéing.
- Spices and herbs: The rustic blend of dried oregano, dried thyme, salt, ground black pepper, and bay leaves add aroma and flavor.
- Tomato paste and beef broth: Adds a rich flavor to the gravy-like broth. Try to use low sodium for both. If yours are not, add less salt.
- Red wine: Any good red wine like cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, malbec or merlot will work.
- Worcestershire sauce: A secret ingredient for extra savory flavor. In a pinch, you can substitute soy sauce.
How to Make Lamb Stew Recipe
Follow these step-by-step instructions to make the best lamb stew recipe. So easy and delicious, you’ll want to warm up with it all winter long!
- Season the lamb: Preheat your large Dutch oven on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Meanwhile, season lamb chunks with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
- Sear the lamb: Working in batches, add half the lamb to the pot and cook until golden brown, for about 7 minutes stirring a few times. Then transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining lamb. This step is worth the effort, the caramelized edges add so much taste!
- Sauté the vegetables: To the pot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Then add onion, celery and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the oregano and thyme and sauté for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Combine tomato paste and mushrooms: Add tomato paste and stir with vegetables until incorporated. This step helps give it a smooth consistency. Add mushrooms and stir.
- Make the broth and add the lamb: Add beef broth, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and remaining salt and black pepper to the pot. Then add the previously browned lamb and stir.
- Let it simmer: Cover pot with the lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 hours or until lamb is fork tender.
- Add remaining vegetables: Add potatoes and carrots to the Dutch oven. Stir and simmer for about 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Rest the stew: Turn the burner off and let the lamb stew sit in the pot covered for about 10 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley if you wish.
Tips for Best Results and Variations
Here are a few tips on how to make this lamb stew recipe with fall-apart lamb, and tender hearty vegetables in a rustic broth.
- Thaw frozen lamb prior to cooking: You can use frozen lamb but you must let it thaw before cooking. When your meat is completely thawed it will cook evenly. If it’s frozen, the outside will cook much earlier than the inside.
- Do not overcook the stew: Low and slow is key for this lamb stew recipe, or any stew recipe. While it’s nice to let it simmer, too much time will result in dry meat and mushy vegetables.
- Add other vegetables: Stew is perfect for variations and add-ins. Turnips, parsnips, and rutabaga are great additions. You can even add sweet potatoes, I recommend cutting them in larger pieces so they don’t get overcooked. Stir in some frozen green peas at the end, they’ll thaw in the hot stew.
- Use beer instead of red wine: Cooking with beer instead of wine will give the stew an earthier flavor. Guinness is popular in an Irish stew but you can use any type of beer.
Can I Make Lamb Stew in Instant Pot?
Yes! Making this lamb stew recipe in the Instant Pot is just as easy with less time. Follow the method we use for Instant Pot beef stew. Essentially, you want to brown the meat on sauté, then pressure cook for 30 minutes with natural release.
Can I Make Lamb Stew in Crockpot?
Similar to my crockpot chicken stew, sauté lamb chunks in a skillet, then your veggies. Cook on Low heat for 6-8 hours or on High heat for 3-4 hours.
What to Serve with Lamb Stew?
This comforting stew recipe is packed with flavor and makes enough to serve a crowd. It’s hearty, healthy, and a satisfying meal on its own.
I’ve also been known for omitting the baby potatoes and whipping up healthy mashed potatoes for an extremely comforting meal.
Having a basket of crusty bread, or Irish soda bread is perfect for sopping up the remaining gravy.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Store any lamb stew leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Freeze: I personally do not freeze stew because I do not like the texture of thawed potatoes. However, you can freeze it in an airtight, freezer-safe container or resealable silicone bag for up to 3 months. Make sure to thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 6 hours before reheating.
Reheat: Reheat desired amount by simmering in small pot on low heat.
For really tender meat that’s soft and fork-tender, cook low and slow. The longer you cook it the more flavorful it will be. Be careful not to over cook or the meat will be dry and vegetables mushy.
Yes, beef stock or broth is the best for this recipe because lamb stock isn’t common. Beef stock will result in a more classic beef stew taste, but you can also use any other stock.
If you like a thicker stew, it is easy to thicken. In a small bowl whisk 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup water or stock. Pour the mixture into the pot, stir, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes to incorporate and thicken.
In my opinion, it is a matter of personal preference and circumstances. This time I cooked stew on the stove, it doesn’t heat up the house as much as roasting and I didn’t have burning issues. Sometimes, with the stovetop method you might have to stir stew a few times to prevent scorching.
Cooking stew in the oven results in more even, hands-off cooking. The stew is heated from all sides and you don’t have to monitor the heat of the stovetop. Some also prefer the taste of roasted meat.
More Stew Recipes
More Lamb Recipes to Try
Lamb Stew Recipe
- 2-3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder trimmed of excess fat
- 2 pounds baby potatoes
- 2 large carrots cut in large chunks
- 3 large celery stalks chopped
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 3 ounces tomato paste low sodium
- 8 ounces brown mushrooms
- 3 cups beef broth low sodium
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 bay leaves
- Preheat large Dutch oven on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season lamb with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. Add half of the lamb to the pot and cook until golden brown, for about 7 minutes and stirring just a few times. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with remaining lamb.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add onion, celery and garlic. Saute until translucent, stirring occasionally. Then add oregano and thyme, and saute for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste and stir with vegetables until incorporated. Add mushrooms.
- Add beef broth, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, previously browned lamb and stir.
- Cover pot with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer lamb stew for 1.5 hours or until lamb is fork tender.
- Add potatoes and carrots, stir and simmer for 25 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Turn off heat and let lamb stew stand in a pot covered for about 10 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with parsley if you wish, and a slice of Irish soda bread.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat desired amount by simmering in small pot on low heat.
- Freeze: You can freeze the stew but I personally do not like thawed potatoes texture. Freeze in an airtight container or resealable silicone bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 6 hours.