St. Patrick's Day recipe: Authentic Irish Stobhach Stew

Jim Hillibish

If you’re in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day, you must sample the stobhach stew. Can’t miss it because it will be everywhere.

This is the iconic Irish stew you hear so much about on March 17, the big day. It differs from the usual stew by offering lamb instead of beef, and nothing is browned. Then again, there’s the shot of Guinness stout.

As with non-Irish stews, this one is a real refrigerator cleaner, using whatever fresh veggies you have, no matter their condition. The Irish are economical about wasted food.

Don’t skimp on the herbs. Thyme and rosemary offer a smoky undertone. And Irish soda bread is served as a sop, with thick slices in the bottoms of the serving bowls. Oh, and a nice pint of celebratory Guinness.

Authentic Irish Stobhach Stew

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds lamb or mutton in 2-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1⁄2 pound carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 2 pounds potatoes, 1-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1⁄4 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a substantial pot, add bay leaves. Saute vegetables for a few minutes. Coat meat with flour in a bag. Add stock and stout to pot, then add meat and herbs. Stir to release flour from meat. Cover and simmer on low for one hour. Test for doneness and serve with Irish soda bread.

Total cooking time will be 90 minutes or more.