Irish Stew with Dumplings: A Hearty Classic with a Twist

Irish Stew with Dumplings: A Hearty Classic with a Twist

I may have been compensated for this post. Please keep in mind that it affects you in no way financially. If an item is being reviewed, I am not obligated to give a positive review and always use my own words. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you would like a review done contact Dannelle at op40k@aol.com

Irish stew is a quintessential comfort food, steeped in history and tradition. It’s a dish that has sustained families across Ireland for generations, evolving from a simple peasant meal to a beloved classic. At its core, Irish stew is a hearty combination of lamb, potatoes, carrots, and onions, slow-cooked until everything is tender. The stew is known for its robust flavors, which come from the simplicity of its ingredients and the time allowed for them to meld together.

Irish Stew with Dumplings

Incorporating dumplings into Irish stew elevates it from a warming soup to a substantial meal. The dumplings, pillowy and soft, are added towards the end of cooking, where they absorb the savory broth, becoming flavorful morsels that complement the texture of the stew.

This addition reflects a blend of cultures, as dumplings are not traditionally part of Irish cuisine but have been adopted and adapted to fit into this comfort dish. Whether it’s a chilly evening or you’re simply in need of a nourishing meal, Irish stew with dumplings is a dish that promises satisfaction.

History of Irish Stew

Irish stew is a traditional dish rooted deeply in Ireland’s culinary history, known for its hearty simplicity and as a symbol of Irish culture.

Origins and Evolution

Your exploration of Irish stew’s past takes you back to the early 1800s when it was a staple for poor, rural Irish families. Ingredients were dictated by availability: mutton, potatoes, onions, and sometimes carrots. Over the centuries, you’ll note the stew’s evolution with chefs incorporating lamb, which is more tender than mutton, and diversifying the vegetables.

Table: Common Ingredients Then and Now

Ingredient19th CenturyToday
VegetablesPotatoes, OnionsPotatoes, Carrots, Leeks, Celery
HerbsLimitedParsley, Thyme, Bay Leaves

Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, you’d see Irish immigrants bringing the stew to new lands, where it adapted further to include local ingredients and cooking methods.

Cultural Significance

To understand the cultural importance of Irish stew, you must recognize its association with poverty and survival. It represents a history of resilience and ingenuity in Irish culture, as families would make use of whatever ingredients they had to produce a nutritious meal.

Today, Irish stew holds a place of pride on St. Patrick’s Day and in family kitchens, showcasing Ireland’s culinary heritage and its people’s ability to create comfort from modesty.

Key Ingredients

These carefully selected ingredients come together to create a hearty and flavorful Irish Stew with Dumplings, offering a taste of traditional Irish comfort food.

Ingredients Needed:

Irish Stew Ingredients

For the Stew:

2 lbs Stew Meat: Choose tender cuts of beef suitable for stewing, such as chuck or round. Cut them into bite-sized pieces for a hearty stew.

Salt & Pepper (to taste): Season the stew meat with salt and freshly ground black pepper to enhance the flavor.

4 Celery Stalks (diced): Celery adds a mild, earthy flavor and a pleasant crunch to the stew.

3 Carrots (diced): Carrots provide natural sweetness and color to the dish while contributing to its overall heartiness.

1 Onion (diced): Onions add a savory and aromatic base to the stew, enhancing its depth of flavor.

2 tablespoons Garlic Paste: Garlic paste or minced garlic brings a robust and aromatic garlic flavor to the stew.

1 Turnip (diced): Turnips have a slightly sweet and peppery flavor, making them a traditional addition to Irish stews.

2 Potatoes (diced): Potatoes add creaminess and help thicken the stew as they cook.

3 oz Tomato Paste: Tomato paste enriches the stew with a concentrated tomato flavor, adding depth and richness.

12 oz Guinness Beer: Guinness beer imparts a distinctive dark and malty flavor to the stew, creating a unique Irish taste.

4 cups Chicken Broth: Chicken broth serves as the liquid base for the stew, providing moisture and a savory backdrop for the ingredients.

2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce adds a tangy and umami-rich element to the stew, enhancing its overall complexity.

1 Bay Leaf: A bay leaf contributes subtle herbal notes to the stew while simmering.

1 Sprig Fresh Thyme: Fresh thyme adds a fragrant and earthy aroma to the stew, enhancing its flavor profile.

1 Carton Mushrooms (sliced): Sliced mushrooms introduce a meaty texture and earthy flavor to the stew, complementing the other ingredients.

Irish Stew dough ingredients

For the Dumplings

These dumplings, made with Bisquick, water, Irish cheddar, and dry oregano, add a savory and cheesy dimension to the Irish Stew, making it even more hearty and delicious.

2 ¼ cups Bisquick (a baking mix): Bisquick is a convenient baking mix that contains flour, leavening agents, and shortening. It forms the base of the dumplings, making them quick and easy to prepare.

⅔ cup Water: Water is used to mix with the Bisquick to create the dumpling dough. It’s essential for binding the ingredients together.

1 cup Irish Cheddar Shreds: Irish cheddar shreds are added to the dumpling mixture, providing a rich and creamy cheddar cheese flavor. This ingredient gives the dumplings a delightful cheesy twist.

1 tablespoon Dry Oregano: Dry oregano is a fragrant herb that imparts a savory and slightly earthy flavor to the dumplings. It enhances the overall taste of the dish and complements the stew’s flavors.

Pro Tip: Meat Selection

For the stew base, you’ll need lamb or beef. Traditional recipes often call for lamb shoulder or neck, known for its flavor and tenderness after slow cooking. Beef alternatives like chuck roast can also be used for a rich, hearty taste. It’s essential to:

  • Trim excess fat from the meat to prevent the stew from being overly greasy.
  • Cut the meat into even, bite-sized chunks to ensure uniform cooking.
choose cut of meat to use

Preparing the Stew

Brown the Stew Meat: Begin by heating a small amount of oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Season the stew meat with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet. Cook until the meat is nicely browned, then remove it from the skillet and set it aside.

brown the meat on all sides

Sauté Vegetables: In the same skillet, add diced celery, carrots, and onions. Sauté them until they become soft and aromatic. Stir in the garlic paste for an extra layer of flavor.

dice and cube the vegetables

Add Tomato Paste and Beer: Incorporate the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and the rich, flavorful Guinness beer into the skillet. Stir well to combine with the sautéed vegetables.

Return Meat and Add Broth: Return the browned stew meat to the skillet and pour in the chicken broth. This combination of flavors will form the hearty base of your Irish stew. Place a bay leaf and a sprig of fresh thyme on top for added seasoning.

season the stew

Simmer the Stew: Allow the stew to simmer gently for approximately 1 ½ hours. This slow simmering process allows the flavors to meld and the meat to become tender and succulent.

Add Potatoes and Turnip: After simmering, add diced potatoes and turnips to the stew. Continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes to ensure these root vegetables become tender and add heartiness to the dish.

allow to simmer

Remove Bay Leaf and Thyme: Before proceeding further, be sure to remove the bay leaf and the sprig of fresh thyme. These herbs have infused their flavors into the stew, but you don’t want to serve them in the final dish.

Stir in Mushrooms: Stir in the sliced mushrooms, adding a delightful earthy dimension to the stew.

Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C), getting it ready for the next step.

mix until dough forms

Prepare Dumplings: In a separate bowl, prepare the dumplings by mixing 2 ¼ cups of Bisquick with ⅔ cup of water. Add 1 cup of Irish cheddar shreds for a cheesy twist, and season the mixture with 1 tablespoon of dry oregano.

Add Dumplings: Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture evenly over the stew. This will create fluffy, savory dumplings as the finishing touch to your Irish stew.

adding the dumplings to the stew in the pan

Bake: Place the entire skillet into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the dumplings are golden brown and cooked through.

Garnish and Serve: Once out of the oven, garnish your Irish Stew with Dumplings with fresh parsley for a burst of color and flavor. Serve this hearty and flavorful dish piping hot, and enjoy the comforting flavors of Ireland!

This Irish stew recipe, complete with dumplings, is a satisfying and flavorful meal that’s perfect for cooler weather or whenever you’re craving a taste of traditional Irish cuisine.

Ready to serve Irish Stew with Dumplings

Serving and Pairing Your Meal

Irish stew with dumplings is a hearty meal, best presented hot and paired with beverages and side dishes that complement its rich flavors.

Presentation Tips

When serving, ladle your Irish stew into a bowl, ensuring you get a good mix of meat, vegetables, and broth. Place dumplings atop the stew, allowing them to absorb some of the liquid. A garnish of fresh parsley or chives adds color and a fresh note to the dish.

Accompaniments and Pairings


  • Beer: A stout or ale pairs well with the stew’s robust flavors.
  • Wine: A medium-bodied red wine, such as Merlot, complements the hearty meat.


  • Crusty Bread: Ideal for sopping up the savory broth.
  • Green Salad: A simple salad with a vinaigrette balances the richness.
See our latest email and just click the blue button on the top to add yourself

Irish Stew with Dumplings Frequently Asked Questions

How do you prepare traditional Irish lamb stew with dumplings?

To make traditional Irish lamb stew, start by browning chunks of lamb in a pot, then remove and set aside. In the same pot, cook chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes, add the lamb back, cover with water or stock, season, and simmer until tender.

Prepare dumplings by combining flour, raising agent, salt, and butter, then roll into balls and place them on top of the stew, cover, and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through.

What are the main ingredients in classic Irish dumplings?

Classic Irish dumplings primarily consist of all-purpose flour, a raising agent such as baking powder, salt, and fat like butter or suet. Optionally, fresh herbs or grated cheese may be added for extra flavor.

How do you make Beef and Guinness stew with dumplings in a slow cooker?

Brown beef pieces and transfer to a slow cooker. Add chopped onions, garlic, carrots, and celery. Pour in a bottle of Guinness and beef stock. Add thyme and bay leaves. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

An hour before serving, mix self-raising flour with suet and water, form dumplings, and place them on top of the stew to steam until puffed and cooked through.

What are some variations for herbs in cheese and herb dumplings?

For cheese and herb dumplings, you can use a variety of herbs such as parsley, thyme, chives, or rosemary. The cheese typically used is sharp cheddar, but you can experiment with other hard cheeses like Parmesan or Gruyère for different flavors.

How does Irish stew with dumplings differ from other stews?

Irish stew with dumplings is characterized by its use of lamb and root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. The dumplings, steamed directly in the stew, set it apart from other stews which might use noodles, rice, or bread as sides. The slow simmering method is key to developing the depth of flavor distinct to this hearty dish.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Irish Stew with Dumplings: A Hearty Classic with a Twist

Irish Stew with Dumplings

Irish stew is a traditional dish rooted deeply in Ireland's culinary history, known for its hearty simplicity and as a symbol of Irish culture.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes


  • 2 lbs stew meat
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 turnip, diced
  • 2 potatoes, diced
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 12 oz guinness beer
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 carton mushrooms, sliced


  • 2 ¼ cups Bisquick
  • ⅔ cup water
  • 1 cup Irish cheddar shreds
  • 1 tbsp dry oregano


Heat a small amount of oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Season the stew meat with salt & pepper and add to the skillet.

Cook until brown and remove from the skillet.

Add celery, carrot, and onion to the same skillet and cook until soft.

Stir in the garlic.

Add in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, and beer.

Stir in the stew meat and broth.

Add bay leaf and thyme sprig on top and simmer for 1 ½ hours.

Add in the potato and turnip and cook 30 more minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprig.

Stir in the mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix dumpling ingredients together and drop by spoonfuls over the stew.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Garnish with parsley, serve, and enjoy!

Skip to Recipe